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Host family or dorm?

Where you live while studying high school abroad on one of our programs will depend on which school or program you choose. If you choose a public or private school or classic program, you’ll live with a caring host family; if you choose a boarding school, you’ll live on campus with your friends. But either way – you’ll have the fantastic support around you to excel on your program!

“They loved and treated me as their own child, and supported me every step of the way from academic, sports or application for universities. I never feel homesick! I was so comfortable and enjoyable the entire time I stayed with my host family. They give me the real definition of a ‘sweet home”. The memories with my host family are countless, but my favorite memory with them is when they celebrated my 18th birthday! I can’t believe that I will say goodbye to them really soon and I can’t imagine how I might stay on a campus next year by myself without them.”

– Sylvia, from Italy 

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What’s the difference between a family and a dorm?

Living with a host family is a wonderful way to get to know your new country through their eyes. Immerse yourself in local culture by living with a caring host family – they’ll become your extended family for life! Share meals, first experiences and special occasions. Speak English (or the language of your destination) at home.

Our host families come in all sizes and types, but what they share is a common desire to get to know you, support you and build a lifelong relationship. Each student is assigned to a local coordinator, who will provide an extra layer of support.

Boarding schools are an option in the USA, UK, Italy, France, Australia and Canada. They provide an elite academic education and top-notch facilities for sports, science and the arts. For example, you might be able to play golf, or take up flying lessons! You’ll be so close to your classes that you can sleep in late, live with your peers and enjoy the support of a warm community around you. There will always be adult supervision, and separate facilities for young men and women. Most boarding schools have professional chefs who offer a choice of menus and can accommodate special diets. Living in a dorm on campus means you have easy access to all the activities, sports and clubs your school has to offer!

Living on campus

“In the dormitory we are always together. There are not too many students, but this is good because I immediately made friends with everyone. We all stay in the dorm common room together until 9.30 and play lots of games that I didn’t even know existed before coming here! Now we are like a big family; even the managers of the dormitory are a bit like parents to us because they are there for everything and they often join us for games.”

-Quynh, from Vietnam 

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Frequently asked questions

Matching you with the right host family is one of the most important things we do! An entire division of Educatius is dedicated to arranging great experiences for both you and your host family. We will choose your host family based on where you are studying, and what we learn about you from your personal essay that you’ll include with your application.

Many of our students like the idea of being in a family with kids their own age. Sometime we can arrange this, but you should know that it’s unlikely to be the only factor that makes your host family experience a happy one. Some international exchange students have found that parents without kids can devote more attention to them, while others become inseparable from new little brothers and sisters! By all means, feel free to express preferences, but be open-minded about what a great host family experience will look like!

This is a very important issue. Boarding schools, which often employ professional chefs, are usually the best place to support a special diet, since they have a range of options available at every meal. Depending on your program, some host families may be able to support special diets. Please make sure you tell us about your needs in your application.

The vast majority of our students are very happy with their host families. However, sometimes a family is unable to continue hosting for external reasons – or rarely, it just isn’t the right fit. This is where our wonderful local coordinators come in. They support you throughout your stay, including finding solutions with your host family or, if necessary, finding you a new family.

We have a very thorough review process. Host families go through a rigorous application, interview, reference and background checks and a home visit. Once we find a great host family, it often happens that they love the experience so much that they come back, year after year. These families are the best!