Three big advantages of staying with a host family in Germany

Starting your studies in another country and living there for a longer period of time is always a new, challenging and very exciting experience. There are new circumstances, new people, different structures, and rules waiting for you. Germany is perceived by many people as very organised and orderly compared to other countries and bureaucracy plays a big role. This organisation can be a great advantage, but it can also mean that sometimes supposedly small things become a bigger challenge. For example, finding accommodation for international students is sometimes more difficult than expected.

The second hardest task that I didn’t realise it was waiting for me in Germany was looking for a flat. I had to stay in different Airbnb’s spending a lot of money until I finally found one. It was hard for me that I had a few euros in my saving account, I cannot realise how hard can this be for a student coming from abroad. So, if you are coming as a student or as a job seeker buckle up for that exhausting flat hunt. After several flat visits, I found one, but it seemed that to rent it I needed to show to the landlord my work contract and other credentials. Don’t get me wrong having these checks and balances are good to have evidence you are good for it, but this was not another walk in the park. Every flat visit was like a job interview. Finally, after a few months I got a decent flat in a nice area.
Student from a Hestia homestay programme

You’ll have a hassle-free flat search

With a little luck, depending on the city where you study in Germany, you will quickly find accommodation in a student hall of residence or a (shared) flat. Depending on what you are looking for and what your budget is, your search may take different amounts of time. One way to find accommodation for your first time in Germany, and a great way to immediately introduce yourself to the new culture, is to live with a German host family. As in many other countries, also in Germany, it is possible to stay with a host family for the duration of your studies or only for the first weeks after arrival in Germany.
Through an agency, you can specify your wishes and circumstances, and a suitable family will be selected for you without you having to worry about anything. You will have a place to sleep, full meals and a kind of extra family that is there for you during this time and introduces you to the everyday life of your new home. Additionally, it gives you more time to look for other accommodation after the time with your host family and possibly you will even receive tips and contacts from your hosts, which can further facilitate your search.

Most of the time, you will be offered an all-inclusive package for a fixed price, where you will be provided with accommodation and full meals. In addition, you have the advantage of getting to know the city and its surroundings from a local perspective, making your first personal contacts outside of the university and possibly new friends for life.

Living with a host family reduces your homesickness

Another thing many international students often experience when coming to another country for an extended period of time is that they miss their home and family because of the distance and the long time they are away.

Most of the time to get homesick is inevitable. You will miss what you use to eat back home, your friends, your family, the places you use to run in the mornings, certain customs, among other things. You have to tell yourself that is normal to feel this way sometimes. It is part of being human and going through changes and especially if you are living abroad. Time will cure homesickness; on some occasions, it will make it go away and on other occasions, it will make it less distracting.
Student from a Hestia homestay programme

Even though you will frequently have the chance to reach out to your family and friends, this feeling is part of your experience and will catch up with you from time to time. What might help here is to have local people by your side who can make your arrival a little easier, introduce you to the new culture, speak the language, dive into the German peculiarities and everyday life with you and give you a little family feeling.

Become quickly integrated into the German culture

When coming to Germany, you will probably be surprised by some things, as each country is not like the other and that makes this new experience even more special.

There were several positive surprises I stumbled upon when I just got here. One of them was the strict rules and schedule for garbage disposal. There is a classification for everything and there are when they will be picked up. This is a small sign of the big community in Germany is. Everybody does this with no exception. These practices show how society understands the importance of taking care of our planet and how recycling is an obligation if we want to live on a healthy planet.
Student from a Hestia homestay programme

Exactly these little things about society make every country unique and your experience especially exciting. Since the locals know best how things are running and what specialities you have to consider, you can also experience a great advantage when you stay with a host family in Germany.

At Fintiba, we want to make this experience possible for you and, together with our partner Hestia, we will arrange a host family for you in the city where you will be studying. For the first four weeks of your studies, you will enjoy accommodation with a family including full meals. If you wish, you can extend this period or look for other suitable accommodation directly afterwards. You can simply register via this link and will then receive a survey asking you about your wishes and requirements. You can also find more information in the FAQ on the Hestia webpage.

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