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One of the best ways students on SIT programs experience the cultures of their host country is through the homestay. Homestays provide further context and perspectives on issues being studied as well as opportunities to improve language skills and deepen cultural understanding.
During the homestay, you will become a member of a local family and share in its daily life. This opportunity facilitates cultural immersion, helps you develop language skills, and provides a context for academic learning.
Most programs include at least one homestay experience, offering you the chance to better understand the local culture and to experience the daily rhythm of life in the host country. Many programs offer homestays in both urban and rural areas to give you contrasting views of life in different social or ethnic contexts. Homestays can be anywhere from a few days to 14 weeks in duration.
SIT designs its homestays to reflect the full diversity of the community, partnering with families who represent a variety of occupational, economic, and educational levels. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who screens and approves each family for suitability.
Students frequently cite the homestay as a highlight of the term.
When not in homestays, students stay in appropriate lodgings that may include guest houses, educational institutions, camping facilities, or small hotels.