Cultural Homestay International

Program Reviews

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Dakota
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most life changing trip to South Korea. I wanted to make sure I truly wanted to study the Asian languages in college and I had a chance to go abroad. At first it was hard to get used to how safe it was and how I could just walk around. I had an amazing experience and I recommend that everyone try to go abroad. My host family was amazing and took care of me very well. Since I am only 18 I worried that it would be hard to travel and it would be very hard for me to take care of myself. They were a little shy at first but they really opened up to me after a while. My host family had three kids and they were all very kind. If anyone is worried about their relationship with a host family, just talk with them. They really are willing to make anything work and help you.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I had never traveled before and I had decided to go to Korea. I was a solo traveler but I recommend it because you truly have time to get to know yourself. The being alone was scary at first but it’s not nearly as bad as you would think.
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Maddie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The CHI world explorers program was by far the most flexible abroad program for students that I cam across. Before I left, I received plenty of travel information, tips, and advice in addition to a wealth of English teaching materials. During my stay I was in constant communication with my coordinators. The CHI staff are all extremely friendly and supportive, and are dedicated to ensuring a positive experience. I really enjoyed how flexible the program was. I wanted to improve my speaking abilities and become more fluent in French, and being placed with a host family allowed for a natural exchange of our respective languages. In addition, the structure of the program gave me the time and freedom to explore not only my city (Dunkirk), but also travel to other places in France, and in Europe.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you are interested in exploring other nearby cities, using Flixbus is great for taking day trips. It is similar to a coach bus, and the ticket prices are extremely affordable.
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Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Heather
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Reece
7/10
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.

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Calvin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Haley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Tracy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I found this program on the internet, I was scared to inquire about the details of it. I have teaching experience, but never with a foreign language, therefore I felt defeated before I had even started. I emailed Heidi Smith who is in charge of the World Explorers Program at CHI and she set up an in-person meeting right away. I asked so many questions about the program and Heidi answered them and eased any fears I had about staying with a host family and teaching them English. After the application process I was paired up with an amazing family in Torino Italy consisting of 3 daughters, a mother and father, and a beautiful golden retriever named buddy. I was able to Skype with the family a few times before traveling to stay with them. The family was so welcoming and made me feel at home. We worked on English and they taught me some Italian. They were wonderful guides, showing me the beautiful city of Torino. Heidi checked in on me throughout my stay and always made me feel comfortable to ask questions or inform her about my experience. I loved working with this family so much! They came to California in July 2015 to come and see me and it was great to be able to show them around San Francisco. If it were not for this program I would have never developed a love for living abroad, teaching English, and new Italian family members .

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change anything, it would just be to have more resources to be able to teach them English properly.
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Kendrik
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Where would I be invited to attend a wedding a year from now and held in regards comparable to family? How would my perspective on another country be changed? Is it possible to comprehend a foreign language after having begun studying it barely two before arriving?

If you want to know the answers any of these questions with even the slightest passion, this program and the people in it will win you over.
The answers to all of these passed me with flying colors and many more are waiting to be proposed. And connections you convinced yourself you would never make are forged in that very month.
When you think you're all alone, you realize just how crowded the world really is.

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Christine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a wonderful time in Japan through CHI. They set me up with awesome host families and provided me with materials that helped me teach the families. I had enough free time to do my own traveling and really experience the culture and people of Japan!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe try to asses how well the host family speaks English and let the the person know before they travel and meet the host family. That way they can prepare for the lessons a little better before they leave on their trip.