The Family Stay Experience Abroad

The Family Stay Experience

Creating deeper and more meaningful connections through total language and cultural immersion

The Family Stay Experience is the cornerstone of Xperitas' Language Immersion Programs. For more than 40 years, our participants have participated in successful and enriching immersion experiences with local families around the world. Learn about the benefits of a family stay and how to prepare for the experience.

What is a Family Stay?

Xperitas students who participate in the Xperitas Family Stay Experience live with a local family while abroad on their language immersion program. There is no such thing as a “typical” Family Stay Experience; every one is as unique as the families that host. Together, the family and student share meals, routines, traditions and most importantly, the target language with each other. This creates an environment of total language and cultural immersion that is unmatched in any other cross-cultural experience abroad. Students learn and grow while sharing their own culture and traditions with their host family. The connections made can last a lifetime! We regularly hear from students and families who stay in touch and even visit each other for years beyond the initial family stay.

How are Host Families chosen?

The success of our Family Stay Experience is due to our network of thousands of dedicated, gracious people around the world who work tirelessly to ensure a safe and wonderful experience for our students. Our Family Stay Coordinators are local to the communities where students stay. They recruit and screen families in their own networks and match them to Xperitas participants. They are also on call 24/7 during the program to address any issues that arise, as are Xperitas staff. Xperitas' primary concern is the safety of our students, teachers and families. Learn more about how our host families are chosen here.

Family Stay Resources

It’s perfectly normal for students to be a little nervous about living with a family they don’t know while being immersed in a different culture! Remember that all of the families who agree to host an Xperitas student are volunteers, and they may be just as nervous for the experience. Host families are interested in getting to know the students, and they expect that students will be excited to get to know them as well. It truly takes both sides to build a successful experience! To help students prepare, we’ve compiled a set of tips for a successful family stay as well as a variety of Family Stay Experience stories on our blog.

What participants have to say about the Family Stay Experience

"It was amazing to get to know the family and experience a completely new culture firsthand. I was extremely nervous and it took me a while to get up the courage to speak to them more. In the end though, I felt really comfortable with them and it was difficult to say goodbye!"

-Jenna, France participant, Eden Prairie, MN

"My family was so welcoming, and I learned so much being included in the small activities of their daily life. I miss them already!"

- Katherine, Costa Rica participant, Brookfield, WI

"My family stay was amazing, and quite possibly the best part of my trip! I loved experiencing the culture of Spain through the eyes a Spaniard, not just through the everyday tourist attractions and historical sites. Not only did I learn invaluable lessons about Spanish culture, but my listening and speaking abilities improved immensely."

- Morgan, Spain participant, St. Johns, MI

"We learned a lot about the differences in our cultures. We also learned that a young Spanish girl can come into our home, spend a month with us, push us to do things that we never would have pushed ourselves to do without her there, and then steal a piece of our hearts without making much effort to do so. We truly enjoyed our time with her and are thankful we did it."

- Sandra, U.S. Host, Arnold, MO