About Teaching in a Homestay
Teaching English in a homestay is your chance to teach English to your host family as you gain skills to boost your resume, get a deeper understanding of a country and culture and make lasting friend…
About the Program
As an English tutor in a homestay, you will teach conversational English language lessons for 15 hours a week, and no teaching experience is necessary! This is a wonderful opportunity to dip your feet into life as an English teacher abroad without having to commit to a semester or yearlong contract.
Teaching in a Homestay allows you to:
- Live with a welcoming host family
- Gain tutoring experience with language lessons 15 hours per week
- Enjoy the independence and freedom to explore the area on your days off
- Spend 1 – 3 months living abroad
- Have host family accommodations and meals included in the program
While this is a volunteer position, the rewards of this meaningful cultural exchange experience carry on long after you return home!
Get a firsthand idea of what a “Day in the Life” of a homestay participant is like:
What are past participants saying about the program?
“Everything from the weather to the spectacular scenery to the scrumptiously delicious food has surpassed anything I could have imagined. To say I am grateful for this experience is an understatement. This and so much more is embedded in my heart along with the lifetime friendships developed along the way. I would encourage anyone who wants to share, learn, live, better understand and appreciate each other’s’ worlds and come out happier and better people to enroll in this program. I give a many, many thanks to Greenheart Travel for assisting me to have this experience. The concept of immersion in culture has captured my heart and I am in love Italy.” — Maree Taberner, Greenheart Travel Teach in a Homestay alumnus in Italy
To qualify to teach English in a Homestay with Greenheart Travel, teachers must be able to create unique and engaging lesson plans for a diverse age-range, but no previous teaching experience or certification is required. Greenheart Travel will provide basic teaching resources prior to your departure.
Below are additional requirements for each destination:
All programs require that teachers be native English speaker and are citizens of:
- United States
- European Union
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Minimum Education Program Requirements:
- High school degree
TEFL Certification Requirements:
- No certification necessary
Minimum and Maximum Age Requirements:
- Argentina (18+ years old – retirees welcome!)
- Brazil (18 – 35 years old)
- China (18+ years old – retirees welcome!)
- France (18+ years old – retirees welcome!)
- Italy (18+ years old – retirees welcome!)
- Spain (18 – 40 years old)
- Thailand (18 – 30 years old)
Please visit our program pages for additional eligibility and program requirements for each destination.
English teachers in a homestay program will be matched with a host family, depending on the best fit regarding interests and English tutoring needs.
Host families vary in size and might include a retired couple, or a family with small children. All participants will be given their own single room in the host family’s home, but you may be required to share a bathroom and living space with the family.
Each country destination offers placements in various regions across the country. Please refer to our Teach in a Homestay program pages for more information.
What do our alumni say about living with a host family?
“The family was absolutely incredible, I can’t overstate how kind and inclusive they were! My host family and I connected right away, and even had a few Skype conversations before I went to stay with them. Their home was comfortable and they were very accommodating. I enjoyed eating meals with them and discussing the differences in our cultures. I had a memorable time and I can’t wait to go back!! I’ve told all my friends about Greenheart Travel, and I’ll probably be coming back to the program in the future. Thank you so much for all of your help!!” Greenheart Travel Teach in a Homestay France alumnus, Rebekah Repasky
“From two weeks of being in Italy on my Teach in a Homestay program, I have concluded that the best way to travel abroad truly is to live with a family or a group of natives. You learn 10x more knowledge from observation, being forced to speak the language and going outside of your typical American tourist bubble. It has been days where I have merely had dinner with Stefania’s friends or went to some type of local event that I have felt so incredibly fulfilled.” –Ashley Bornancin, Greenheart Travel Teach in a Homestay alumnus in Italy
You should apply at least 8 weeks before your preferred departure date so that we have plenty of time to find the best host family match for you. The entire application process is available online for your convenience.
Complete the Online Application
There are 5 short steps in the application process, which are outlined below. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and can be done in stages.
- Select the APPLY NOW button on the left side of the program page. You will receive a link to fill out the first portion of the application, which asks for general information about you.
- Once you complete part 1, you will be emailed Greenheart Travel’s Terms and conditions. Please read through them and sign.
- Next, you will pay a $250 deposit to hold your position in the program. It is very rare that our homestay applications are declined, but if you are rejected from the program, you will be refunded the $250 less a $75 processing fee. Otherwise, it is deducted for your overall program fee.
- Now, you will complete a second application form that includes more detailed information about yourself (such as education background, experience, medical history, host family preference, etc).
- In order to finalize your application, you will need to complete a 15 minute interview via Skype with the program manager.
Additionally, you will need to upload the following documents:
- 1 letter of recommendation (can be personal or professional)
- A “Dear Family” letter introducing yourself to your homestay family
- Copy of your passport
- A completed background check. If you are a US citizen, Greenheart Travel provides you a free, online background check service which you can access during the application process. If you are not a US citizen, you are required to submit your own background check from your local police station.
Review your Application
Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.
You’re Accepted – now what?
Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will receive an orientation packet via email, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.
Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $500 payment toward your program fee is due. This payment is required a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your departure.
A visa may be required for a tourist stay of up to 90 days depending on the destination country. Greenheart Travel will provide you information about applying for a visa, but please check with the embassy of your host country to verify, as visa requirements may change.
We will also schedule a pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions and prepare you for the program. This will be scheduled about 2-4 weeks before your departure date.
How the Teach English in a Homestay Works
Do I have to prepare a curriculum or lesson plan?
English lessons are very informal and there is no provided curriculum, however participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide a list of resources to help you come up with fun ideas for teaching your host family. Typically families will just request that you speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.
Do I have to purchase teaching materials or supplies for lessons?
We encourage you to be as creative and frugal with lesson plans as possible. There is no need to purchase extra materials.
What will I do when I’m not teaching the family?
When you are not teaching your host family English, you will have time to explore your new home and surrounding towns and cities.
Will I be able to travel during my free time?
While we encourage exploring your town and nearby areas, you should not put long breaks in your teaching in order to travel to other parts of the countries. You should only plan 1-2 weekend trips and should leave any major excursions for before or after your program.
What level of English do the host families have?
The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.
Do I need to speak the language of my host country?
While it is not a requirement that participants speak the language of their host country, it is recommended that participants try to learn some basic words and phrases before arriving. It always makes your life easier if you speak a bit of the local language.
Will I have to speak English all the time?
You only are required to speak English during the 15 hours of English lessons each week. The rest of the time, please feel free to practice speaking the language of your host country.
What have others said about this program?
Read reviews from our past participants at Gooverseas.com!
Common Questions about Placements
Can I choose where I will be placed?
No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you are placed within that country. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region, and we match based on compatibility with the host family.
Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?
No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $500 placement deposit.
What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?
No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If issues arise once you are in the country, we handle them on a case by case basis.
Can I be placed with my friend/spouse/significant other?
We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes, and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.
What should I bring as a gift for my host family?
It’s a great idea to bring a small gift with you for your host family. It would be nice to bring something that represents where you are from. Common gifts are chocolates, wine, coffee mugs, t- shirts, etc.