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How to find homestay in France

By Jean
Reading Time: 5 minutes
homestay in france

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Moving to France as an international student can be an exhilarating experience, filled with new opportunities and adventures. However, one of the first hurdles you’ll encounter is finding suitable accommodation in France.

Opting for a homestay during your stay not only amplifies this experience but also immerses you deeply into the French way of life. Living with a host family provides a unique opportunity to practice the language daily, understand local customs, and form meaningful relationships.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to find the perfect homestay in France, ensuring a memorable and enriching stay.

homestay in france

Why Homestay?

Choosing a homestay over more traditional accommodation solutions like private apartments, student residences, or dormitories can offer a range of unique benefits that enhance your experience abroad, especially in a culturally rich country like France

Here are some of the benefits that make homestay a good choice:

  • Authentic Cultural Experience: Living with a local family immerses you in the daily life and traditions of France, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the culture than you might get from living in student-oriented housing.
  • Language Immersion: Constant interaction with your host family in French accelerates your language learning process, helping you become more fluent faster than if you were living with fellow international students or alone.
  • Local Connections and Personal Network: Your host family can introduce you to a wide circle of friends and relatives, offering instant social connections and helping you feel less isolated. Navigating administrative tasks, public transport, or medical appointments can be daunting in a new country, and a host family can offer invaluable guidance.
  • Safety and Security: Families that host international students are typically vetted by agencies or educational institutions, offering a safer environment for young or first-time travelers.
  • No Utility Bills: Unlike apartments or rented rooms, homestay fees usually cover all utilities, so there are no additional costs for electricity, water, heating, or internet.
  • Insider Knowledge: Host families can provide insights into local gems, from cafes and shops to lesser-known attractions, enhancing your exploratory experiences.
  • Home-Cooked Meals: Enjoy authentic French cuisine prepared at home, which is not only a cultural experience but also healthier and cheaper than dining out regularly.

When to Start Searching for Homestay?

Due to the popularity of homestays, especially in major cities and towns with universities, it’s crucial to begin your search several months in advance of your move. By beginning your search several months prior to your move, you not only increase your chances of finding a suitable family that meets your preferences and budget but also avoid the intense competition.

homestay in france

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the right city is key to ensuring a fulfilling experience. Here’s a series of questions you can ask yourself to help you choose the best city:

  1. What kind of lifestyle do you prefer: city life, rural areas, or small towns?
  2. What’s your budget? Can you afford the cost of living in your chosen city?
  3. Do you plan to travel? Is proximity to major airports and train networks important to you?
  4. What climate suits you best: sunny, mild, or cold weather?
  5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time: Going shopping? Taking a walk in nature? Meeting new people? Exploring the local culture?
  6. What form of transportation do you prefer: train, tram, metro, bus, bike, or walking?
  7. What’s your favourite landscape: seaside, mountains, countryside, or city?

Unsure about which city is the best fit for you? Read our article to discover the ideal place to learn French in France: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/where-to-learn-french-in-france/

How Much Does It Cost?

Costs for homestay programs in France can vary significantly based on location, amenities, and the level of meals and services provided. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what’s included in your payment, such as meals, laundry, and room cleaning. Some programs may require a placement fee in addition to the monthly homestay fee.

Wondering how much does it cost to live and study in France? Use our cost of living calculator to find out! Get an estimate here: https://gogofrance.com/en/cost-of-living-in-france-calculator/

Please note that estimates are based on averages, and your actual rent will vary depending on your location in France, the duration of your contract, the size of the property, whether it is an old, new, or reformed property, among other factors.

Tips for a Successful Homestay Experience

  • Communicate Clearly and Openly: Establish open lines of communication with your host family from the start. Discuss expectations, daily routines, rules of the house, and any concerns that arise.
  • Show Respect and Flexibility: Respect your host family’s home and customs. Be flexible and open to adapting to their way of life, even if it differs from what you’re used to.
  • Participate in Family Life: Engage with your host family by joining in on meals, outings, and other family activities. This demonstrates your interest in their culture and helps strengthen your relationship.
  • Practice the Language Daily: Take every opportunity to practice the local language with your host family. It’s a safe environment to make mistakes and learn.
  • Offer to Help Around the House: Show appreciation for your host family’s hospitality by offering to help with chores or meals. It’s a gesture of goodwill that can enhance your bond.
  • Keep Your Space Tidy: Maintain cleanliness and order in your living space. Being considerate of shared spaces is essential in a homestay arrangement
  • Express Gratitude: Regularly express your gratitude for your host family’s efforts and hospitality. Small gestures of appreciation, such as sharing a meal from your home country or giving a thoughtful gift, can go a long way.
  • Stay In Touch After Your Stay: Building a lasting relationship with your host family means staying in touch even after your homestay ends. It’s a wonderful way to maintain your cultural connection and perhaps even plan a return visit.

By following these tips, you can enhance your homestay experience, making it not only a comfortable stay but also a deeply enriching cultural and learning opportunity.

homestay in france

Find Homestay in France

When searching for a homestay in France, utilizing reliable platforms can significantly streamline the process and enhance your safety and satisfaction.

Here are some platforms and resources you can explore to find the perfect homestay:

  • Couchsurfing: While traditionally used for short-term stays, Couchsurfing can connect you with hosts interested in longer-term cultural exchanges.
  • Workaway: This platform offers opportunities for work exchange for accommodation. It’s an excellent way to immerse yourself in French culture while providing some help to your host family.
  • Homestay.com: This site offers a wide selection of homestays throughout France. They emphasize the importance of matching guests with host families that share common interests.

However, there are several considerations to keep in mind when using such platforms:

  • Verification: Look for platforms that offer host verification or background checks for added security.
  • Support: Choose services that provide ongoing support throughout your stay, including a process for addressing any issues with your homestay.
  • Reviews: Platforms that feature reviews from previous homestay guests can give you insights into what to expect.

The best solution for finding a host family, if you plan to live and study in France, is through your university or language school. All our partner schools boast a network of families experienced in welcoming foreign students.

If you’re interested in this option during your stay in France, please let us know here, and we will assist you in organizing all the necessary details.

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