Choosing a homestay during a study program abroad may not be the most attractive option, but you can take several advantages from it.
If you are still deciding between a homestay and an academic residency or sharing an apartment with your friends, you should face it provisionally as your first choice. Therefore, don’t worry too much with a long term stay: go for what is more convenient and useful for you to start your program abroad and, once settled in your study destination, you will find other opportunities and better options allowing flexibility to change, if necessary.
To begin her study experience in New Zealand, the young Brazilian Nathaly chose a homestay but she ended up moving to another place. Check how was she welcomed and which reasons changed her mind.
In New Zealand, the young Brazilian Nathaly chose a homestay initially and thenmoved to another place, once she figured out other options. Check how was she welcomed and her reasons to change.
My homestay experience in New Zealand
I’ve always been very curious about other people. I dreamed about studying abroad, and when the opportunity came up, I already had everything planned. I chose New Zealand for being a safe, multicultural and friendly country, with a climate similar to Brazil. Besides, of course, being an English speaking country.
Once I landed in Auckland, I called my future homestay. The landlord received me and I was very happy to be able to speak without any problems. I had heard many people saying how hard was to understand the Kiwis English, because of the British accent. I took a taxi and went to the homestay.
Arriving there, I was welcomed with all politeness by Tereza, the house’s owner. She had a dog, Toffy, the cutest and naughtiest dog in the universe. The house was amazing, clean, organized and with a view to the Sky Tower. She showed me place and said I could get comfortable and take everything I wanted in the fridge.
Tereza showed me the way to my English course. We walked along a very nice footpath. There, Tereza introduced me to some staff members, but soon we went away. Later on, I went out alone to explore the neighbourhood and buy some things. I was completely in love with Parnell. The neighbourhood is very beautiful and well structured. With clean streets, parks, libraries, shopping malls, bars and museums. You could easily get to all these places walking or cycling.
When I returned back home, I had a note on my shelf. In it, Tereza extended welcome and listed some rules to be followed. After that, I took a shower and went to sleep. I got surprised about how silent that neighbourhood was. When all the euphoria from the arrival passed, I turned off quickly. I only woke up many hours later, completely starving.
I only stayed at the homestay for one month. I wanted more freedom. I wasn’t feelling entirely comfortable in the house. Those rules on silence, limited hours to shower and not being free to watch tv in the living room drove me crazy. I’d always been treated very politely, but you know, right? They’re very discreet and a little distant.
When I decided not to renew the homestay, I didn’t research a lot. I ended up moving to the Empire Apartments for its good location and to stay close to my friends. It was really fun to live there because of the freedom and friends I had. Yet, I don’t know if I would have chosen the Empire if I was staying for a long period, like 6 months. When you see the pictures you think it’s a beautiful place, with swimming pool, gym, but everything is actually very precarious.