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Cultural Homestay International


Cultural Homestay International is an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing cultural awareness through people-to-people exchanges. CHI believes that the best way to build bridges and friendships between culture is to experience different cultures, values, and customs first-hand.

In the spirit of cross-cultural exchange, CHI offers volunteer and language learning opportunities in countries around the world. Scroll through the options below and visit the CHI website to learn more about they variety of volunteer abroad programs available.


255 West End Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
United States

New Programs Annoucement

Apply for World Explorers before the end of 2018 and get $200 off!
The discount applies to the following destinations: Spain, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.


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I am so grateful for my experience teaching English in Spain! Chinet placed me with the most incredible host family. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the family and using my free time to take Spanish classes and explore the area. Some of my favorite excursions included bungee jumping, taking day trips with the Spanish school I joined to nearby cities, enjoying the local cuisine, checking out a national park, watching a live futbol match, and watching free live Spanish concerts at a museum. The family I was paired with had two young girls (7 and 10) who I taught English to and I was encouraged to teach them in an informal and fun way, which meant playing lot's of games, going to the library, going for walks, and eating meals together. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better experience - everything was wonderful!

Yes, I recommend this program
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I participated in the World Explorer program this summer through CHI in Beijing, China. I was in Beijing for 33 days and loved every second. I didn't want to leave! My host family was amazing and brought me to the Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace. I also participated in family gatherings and experienced what barbecuing is like in China. I've never eaten so much food at one time!
I met up with two other World Explorers and visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, hutongs, and explored many parts of Eastern Beijing. Getting lost was all part of the plan as we met many amazing Chinese families more than willing to help us find our way and showed us to great places for food and drinks. The one thing I miss the most about Beijing is the subway. I never used public transportation until I arrived in Beijing.
As I am back home in the states, I still stay in contact with my host family through WeChat. If everything pans out, I'll be visiting my host family next summer. I cannot wait!

How can this program be improved?
This program is a pretty well-oiled machine. The only thing I wish I had was a language buddy right away to help me as English isn't widely spoken.
Yes, I recommend this program

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience because I was able to converse with locals everyday which helped me practise my Spanish which is very useful. I've made some good friends that I could treasure for a long time. I have also made what I'm happy to call a second family. One of the reasons I would recommend this experience is because you can sample some true spanish culture and make good friends for life. Before your experience starts make sure you select a country that you are passionate about and can make the most of. Not only can you meet new friends but you can also spend time away from your parents and you get a feeling of independence that you don't always get when your away with your parents. Its also a great opportunity for seeing a new country and broadening your mind without the pressure of having to go with your parents.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I completed three different exchange programs with Cultural Homestay International that lasted 9 months in 2018. I started my experience living with a host family in Orleans, France from January-April. Then I moved to my second host family near Lyon, France from April-June. I had the opportunity to teach English to my host family during this time, and my hosts gained a lot of confidence speaking English with me on a daily basis. My final placement was at a farmstay in northern France from July-September. At the farmstay I helped produce dairy products and take care of animals.

The reason why I chose CHI is because I can live with host families so I get a real experience what it's really like to live in France. We eat, play, talk, and visit places together. During my time in France, I got to travel around and meet lots of interesting people. It was a truly fascinating experience! I've made many new friends and memories. Moreover, I can now speak French well. The program price was also very reasonable, considering that my room and all meals are covered.

I want to thank Heidi at CHI for placing me with nice host families and her support throughout my stay in France. I highly recommend this program to people looking for an immersive experience in a foreign culture!

Yes, I recommend this program
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This summer, I went to a small town in the southern part of France called Lacanau. I stayed with a family of four for one month, although I wish I stayed longer. The family consisted of a friendly father, caring mother, a sporty daughter around the age of 11, and a fun-loving son around the age of 8. My host parents spoke a good amount of English so we could communicate well together. The children were just learning English so we had a couple of challenges, but Google translate helped a lot. I didn't know much French, but after living there for one month, I picked up a lot of words that my host family would say. This family has an amazingly beautiful house with a pool. We went swimming together almost every day. The weather was very nice. It rained only a couple days out of the whole month I was there. I attended surf lessons with the daughter and the son on the weekends as well as Judo practice, Surf and rescue practice, and dance practice. We were about a 15-minute drive from the ocean, which was in perfect distance from the house that I rode my host moms bike to the beach a couple of times. I got to go to Bordeaux multiple times using the city bus, which only took a little more than an hour one way. I went on a solo trip to San Sebastian, which was the highlight of my trip. I also met up with a girl in Paris who was also participating in the same program as me. She was staying in Germany with a family. All in all, this was an experience of a lifetime. I was very nervous to travel by myself, but this trip has given me the confidence to travel the world. I am still in contact with my host family through emails and use Snapchat to talk with my host sister all the time. I can't wait to go back to Lacanau France! I will never forget this amazing experience.

How can this program be improved?
I had no problems with the program. Communication was great. I was provided with many worksheets that I used on my trip. I had lots of support when I needed it.
Yes, I recommend this program


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