„Welcome to our family – make yourself at home!“ – Kind words like these shape students’ experience when entering a family’s home in Bonn. Living with a host family is a very important part of cross-cultural learning. The immediate, first-hand experience of family life in a different culture enables students to develop an enriching perspective on German traditions, cuisine, life style and society. At the end of a program, about 90% of students rate their homestay as an excellent or good experience. Thanks to their close relationship, most of them say they would like to come back to Bonn or they would be very happy to welcome their German hosts some day in America.
Usually, a traditional homestay includes being picked up by the host family at AIB on arrival day, a room of your own, daily breakfast and dinner, options to join family in free time activities, possibility to do laundry, a front door key, and access to WiFi. Numerous families provide two rooms for twin accommodation.
On request, each student can be placed in a pet-free household or a smoke-free home. Many host families willingly prepare meals according to the student’s food allergies or special dietary needs. A limited number of homes are handicap-accessible.
The hosts provide the student with bed sheets and towels. Needless to say, it is expected that the student keeps the room tidy and airs it regularly. Overnight visitors are only permitted at the host’s approval.
In modern times, the concept of a traditional family has changed worldwide. Some of our host families fall in to the classic family model of father and mother with children while others consist of a remarried parent/single parent with kids, a couple without children, or sometimes a single mother with adult children/grandchildren.