Crashing on Someone's Couch

If you are interested in meeting locals from countries you visit while overseas and you need a place to sleep, look at travel websites, like Couchsurfing or AirBnb. With either of these sites, you can meet up with and/or potentially stay with locals throughout the world.

Couchsurfing is more on the free side and a shared accommodation while AirBnB is usually a private room or the whole place. Many of these websites entice tourists and students to be more open to unique experiences, and to think about accepting a room or share with foreigners from all over the world with the intent to become familiar with the locals and societies of other countries.


In contrast, if you look forward to meeting people from across the globe consider rooming in a hostel in Europe, Australia or South America. There is an abundance of hostels worldwide including the U.S., where you are able to reserve lodging on the cheap on websites such as

Staying in hostels is an excellent way of meeting foreigners and building friendships with like-minded travelers. Hostels feature communal areas where it becomes easier to meet and talk with people. Some hostels have special prices for group trips, have barbecues, and other excursions to choose from.

Furthermore, don't be surprised if your estimated housing expenses are significantly less than staying in hotels if you choose this route. These two options could help you save hundreds of dollars a day on accommodations s you can use it elsewhere like those day or weekend trips with the group at the hostel.

Check with these sites or for the best selection and prices. Ultimately, what you expect to get out of your trip is how well you choose your accommodations. It has to best suit your objectives and not anyone else's.


Another alternative to a hotel are B&Bs which give you an experience similar to a hostel. Usually the owners are long-term residents of the area and are very forthcoming in helping you on your adventure as well as get to know you. Unlike a hostel, at a B&B, the owners will prepare a home-cooked meal during your stay.

Now it will be possible to experience the typical food the locals eat, in contrast to meals aimed for only Americans. It will surely be a foreign experience. Live it one-hundred percent. And if you have an allergy, don't be shy to let them know ahead of time.

If you choose self-catering accommodation, you'll have a kitchen and can prepare your own meals. There's no better way to get to know an area than heading into one of the local shops and grabbing groceries with the locals! We chose this type of lodging when traveled to Italy for two weeks. This is an ideal option for families.



Studying abroad enables many students from numerous Universities through out the U.S to discover and explore various regions of the world. By living with a host family, you'll have a more complete understanding of other cultures by living with a foreign family.

It is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself into the host culture and language. The typical host family ranges from an older couple, a single or widowed woman, to even a three or four person family trying to add to their income.

Why students pick a homestay accommodation?

Homestays are, in many cases, the cheapest way to go for the study abroad program. You can get three square healthy meals daily along with laundry privileges once per week.

- It is the best way to get fully engulfed into another language and culture. Some hosts don't speak any English whatsoever. You are essentially forced to learn and communicate in another language and see how they live each day and night and learn more about the country you are visiting.

If there is ever an emergency or you become sick, they know where to go and what remedy to get for you. You may have studied and learned lots of foreign phrases but names of medicines are most likely not in the curriculum.

A potential negative is that you are likely to give up a lot of liberties you had back home. You probably won't be allowed to cook your own meals, do your own laundry, or go hang out with friends at a bar or invite them over for dinner.

If those are things you can't go without doing, then a homestay is not going to meet your needs. However, the rules do vary so just inquire what you can do and cannot. You'll be living with a family and looked after as though you're a member of their family.

Home-sickness does happen but if the host had kids or a pet, interesting local activities, then you will have some level of comfort that you can go to these and meet people.



If you really want to have all the freedoms to do whatever you want, then a private apartments will provide you with maximum independence. You can have guests over anytime you feel; you can throw parties and drink liberally, cook whatever you want when you want, there is no curfew; you are free to come and go as you please. Having said that, think of the extra costs that you may be responsible for when you live in an apartment, that include: food, utilities, internet, household furniture, utensils, and linens.

Student dorms/residencies

Similar to a hostel, living in a student dorm offers the potential to get to know a good amount of foreign or local students staying in the same place, and it will be easier to make friends because you're continuously near other students. Costs: It is best to confirm what your program includes. Are meals, laundry and other activities included. You may be required to take or buy your own bed linens, towels, etc.

Other issues to consider with dorms overseas are similar to those back in the states. Occupants at dorms could be bothered by undesirable roommates, loud neighbors, and the negative influences could result in missing class, consuming unhealthy food excessively, and not getting enough sleep.

Although tourists find it a relief when traveling abroad to find a native from their country and speak their language, when students live in a country where everyone speaks a different language, with dorm life, the student takes the easy route speaks English with other students, and therefore miss out on a key aspect of language immersion while otherwise they would be obligated to communicate in the local language from daily situations with a host family or community.

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