Living with a host family

You will feel right at home and enjoy an authentic German experience during your language course in Berlin by staying with a host family. Staying with a family gives you the opportunity to get to know the culture from the locals' perspective and to practice your new German language skills and knowledge outside of class. 

 

Overview

Age group:
14 - 17 years

Distance from school:
25 - 45 minutes

Arrival:
Sunday during the day

Departure:
Saturday mornings

Room type:
double room

Bath:
shared

Board:
full board

Cleaning:
weekly

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the host families?

Who are the host families?

Our hosts are families that enjoy getting to know students from all over the world. Our staff takes special care when choosing individuals and host families to ensure a friendly and open atmosphere and one in which German can be spoken. Hosts may be single individuals or couples, with or without children, employed full time or already in retirement so  they have more time for you. We visit our hosts regularly and many have had years of experience taking in our students.

Our hosts live in different parts of the city. To get to school, you will usually need to take public transportation. The host will gladly explain the best way to travel but can't usually accompany you to school. Typically, the trip takes 25 - 60 minutes. Approximately 2-4 weeks before arrival you will receive a host family profile with contact and other important information.

Depending on the family you will either haver a single or a double room. There are a few host families that have very large rooms and offer space for more than two participants. 

Host families

  • Room type: double room, some multi-bed rooms or single rooms
  • Board: breakfast, sack lunch and dinner (full board)
  • Bath: shared with the host family

 

How will the room be furnished?

How will the room be furnished?

As a rule, your guest room will have a place to sleep (bed or sofa bed), a closet or place to store clothing and usually a desk and chair. Many hosts also provide a television or other extra amenities for you to use. 

Rooms are cleaned weekly. Keep your room picked up so your host family can clean more easily.

You will receive fresh bed linens and towels regularly.

 

Are there house rules?

Are there house rules?

Our hosts will share their house rules with you so you will understand their expectations. In some homes, for example, there may be certain rooms you are not allowed to enter. In most cases you will receive a key so you can come and go independently. Be especially careful, because you will bear the cost of replacement should you lose your key.

Respect Germany's quiet hours (for example, no loud music in your room after 10 p.m.). In Germany, quiet hours are particularly valued. If you are still a minor, certain youth protection rules pertain as well. There are strict rules governing when you must be home.

If you would like to invite friends over, you must ask your hosts ahead of time for permission.

In addition, our school rules also apply.

What are the meals like?

What are the meals like?

When booking accommodation with a host family full board is included. This means you will receive three meals a day.

Weekdays, you will be served a typical cold German breakfast (for example, bread or roll, butter, sausage or jam, water or tea) and on weekends perhaps an egg. No breakfast is provided on the day of arrival.

During the week and on Saturday, lunch consists of a packed lunch. Your host family will help you in preparing it. A packed lunch usually includes a sandwich, fruit and a drink. On Sunday, it may be that a warm lunch will also be served. Lunch will not be provided the day of your departure.

The third meal is dinner. Traditionally, the evening meal in Germany is cold, but most host families offer a warm dinner. Please note that in Germany the evening meal is usually between 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., so plan your day to correspond with your host parents' schedule. Please plan your arrival accordingly, or the host family will not be able to provide an evening meal. Board ends with breakfast on the day of departure.

Can allergies be accommodated?

Can allergies be accommodated?

If you have allergies, let us know when you register (at the latest) so we can take this into consideration when choosing your host family.

The following allergies can be accommodated:

  • Pet hair allergies: Let us know whether the host family can have pets.
  • Vegetarian meals, or, for example, meals without pork, can be provided at no additional cost.
  • Food allergies, for example, lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, require a surcharge of 35 € per week.

To find out whether other allergies can be accommodated, please contact our service team.

May I use the kitchen?

May I use the kitchen?

Please do not use your host family's kitchen on a regular basis. This is not allowed.

 

 

Will I have my own bathroom?

Will I have my own bathroom?

In most cases you will share the bathroom with the host family and other did students. Very few hosts offer private baths or separate toilets.

Please pay particular attention to the house rules when using the bathroom. You are living communally and it is expected that you leave the bathroom clean after each use.

Germans are particularly interested in caring for the environment and use resources sparingly. Do not take excessively long showers and discuss the bathroom schedule with your host.

Where can I do laundry?

Where can I do laundry?

If you are staying longer than two weeks, you may ask your host family to wash your laundry with theirs. The host family typically takes care of this chore once a week. Please note that hosts will not be held responsible should laundry be damaged.

 

Will I have internet access?

Will I have internet access?

Our host families decide themselves whether to provide you with internet access and are not required to do so. The reason for this is, in Germany, the person providing the internet access, in this case, the person whose name is associated with the account, is personally liable for all damages that result in the illegal downloading or streaming of music and videos.

If your host family provides you with access to the internet, please use it with care and only for legal purposes (Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc.).

If your family does not allow you to use the internet, you can use public hot spots in cafes or other public institutions. We recommend buying a  SIM card with internet access (for use in Germany) for your cell phone in your home country and activate it with your parents before your trip. In Germany, it is unfortunately very difficult for minors to purchase a SIM card.

What happens in case of loss or damage?

What happens in case of loss or damage?

You are responsible for all loss or damage you cause to a host's property. We recommend all course participants purchase renter's liability insurance. This can be purchased online here: Care Concept Care Protector. If you are not covered by liability insurance, you must pay your host directly for any damage you cause. If you have any questions or are uncertain about this policy, contact our school staff for help or clarification.