When researching student accommodation, there’s so many options out there to choose from. From on-campus to city centre locations, full-board to self-catering – it can be difficult to find something that ticks all the boxes.
That being said, homestay accommodation is one alternative that often gets forgotten about. This is surprising, as it comes with so many benefits – especially if you’re new to a destination, or are wanting to improve your English language skills.
In this blog, we’ll examine the top pros and cons of choosing homestay accommodation during your studies.
What is Homestay Accommodation?
To put it simply, homestay accommodation provides a unique opportunity to lodge in a spare room of a real home while the owner (and possibly their family) is there. You’ll pay a fee to stay here, but you’ll soon find that you feel part of the family unit, or like you’ve gained a new friend, depending on the living situation.
All around the world, homestays are a type of accommodation that define the phrase ‘a home from home’, and are ideal for those who are seeking a genuine, memorable travel experience.
But there’s much more to homestay accommodation than this, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons you can expect:
From enhanced convenience to greater cultural awareness, there are several pros that come with homestays:
Gain Local Insight
Staying in a homestay means you not only get to visit a destination – you get to really live it, too. Rather than merely living in your university town, you’ll see first-hand how the locals go about their day-to-day lives – something that is almost impossible to do when staying in other types of accommodation.
Hosts can help guests find their feet in a new place: whether it’s help with local lingo or finding places to eat. Once you adjust, your confidence will continue to grow and you’ll gain a great understanding of the area around you, helping it feel just like a ‘home from home’.
By being able to experience the local community and culture of a place, this will boost your independence and better prepare you for setting up your life abroad. It teaches you invaluable skills, such as adaptability, which is also essential to include on your CV and mention in any future job interviews.
Practice Your English
Staying with a local means you have endless opportunities to put your English skills to the test – whether it be help with studying, or practising to become fluent.
As an international student, this will not only help with your learning, but your ability to go out and use your new language in the real world. By the end of your stay, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of other students on your course by choosing homestay accommodation.
Greater Social Experience
What makes homestay accommodation unique is the hands-on hosting. When offered via a trusted institution like LSI/IH Portsmouth, all hosts will be carefully selected, so you can be guaranteed a friendly face that will be more than happy to welcome you and show you the ropes around the area.
Each host will also have their own unique interests and hobbies which can further complement the homestay experience. You never know – you might even make a friend for life!
As with everything, there are cons to be aware of when choosing homestays. Thankfully, there are very few disadvantages to worry about with this accommodation type. Depending on your priorities, it is up to you to decide whether they are deal breakers or not.
Respecting the Rules
When you’re a visitor in any house, there are always going to be certain rules that you should respect and follow.
Since you will be living in someone else’s home, you’ll have to make sure you fit in with their home life. This can be a good life lesson and teach you how to live alongside other people, but it’s important to remember you are a house guest and therefore should be mindful of how they run their home.
Commuting to School
Homestays are usually located near the school, but it is unlikely that you will be living directly on campus like other students. This means you might have a slightly longer commute to get to your classes, which can be time consuming.
However, living off campus does come with its own benefits. It means you’ll have a break from university life when you’re not studying, and allows you to see a different part of the city.
Homestay Student Accommodation at LSI/IH Portsmouth
At LSI/IH Portsmouth, you can enjoy all of these benefits when you choose to lodge with one of our homestay families. All our accommodation is organised by the school and many of our carefully-selected families have been hosting our students for years. This accommodation option is on a half-board basis: breakfast and dinner on weekdays and all meals at the weekend.
All our homestays offer:
- Single study bedroom (doubles available on request)
- Breakfast and dinner during the week and all meals at weekends
- Bed linen and towels provided
- Laundry done weekly
- Typically between 15-30 minutes’ walking distance of the school (maximum 45 minutes)
Executive Homestay Families
Certain students, like those on the 30+ courses, also have the option to stay with one of our executive homestay families. This will give you intensive exposure to native speaking professionals and an opportunity to network during your time here.
The majority of our homestays are current or retired professionals, academics or senior business managers, often with considerable international experience. We consider the relationships which develop between our executive clients and our homestays to be one of our great advantages.
Below is a list of prices for homestay accommodation in Portsmouth. Please note that the high season is between 6th June-28th August 2022, and executive homestay families are available subject to availability.
|Homestay:||Low season:||High season:|
|Standard Homestay: per week||£165||£175|
|Standard Homestay: per extra night||£30|
|Exec Homestay (available to 30+): per week||£260|
|Exec Homestay (available to 30+): extra nights||£40|
|Special dietary requirement supplement (coeliac/gluten-free, vegan, nut allergy etc)||£20 per week|
|Full en-suite: per week||£175||£185|
|Superior: per week||£165||£175|
|Per extra night||£35|