Going on a language trip is often the best way to improve your knowledge of a foreign language.
However, in order for this language adventure to be fully successful, it is fundamental to choose the right type of accommodation. The choice of accommodation is based on many criteria, including the budget you wish to allocate to this expense, but also the level of independence you want and the level of immersion you want to reach.
Here is a complete overview of the different types of accommodation you can choose for your language trip.
1 - Staying with a host family
When we mention types of accommodation for language trips, homestays with host families come to mind almost immediately. This type of stay allows you to be totally immersed in the language with a local family as you will be fed and housed by them.
In addition to sharing meals, you will certainly be able to take part in cultural or sporting outings with family members, which will obviously give you a much better understanding of the habits and lifestyle of the people living in your host country than anyone else.
This type of accommodation is totally immersive! This will allow you, as well as the cultural aspect mentioned above, to be able to practice the language you have come to learn at any time of the day. In addition to your language course, you will have the opportunity to practice your learning in real, authentic conversations during meals for example. Finally, this type of accommodation is also particularly attractive because it is often less expensive than other types of accommodation and is therefore more accessible for a large number of people going on a language holiday. Families can accommodate several international students, which will give you more practice in the language. It is possible to book a single room or a shared room depending on your budget. It is also possible to choose from several meal options: breakfast, half board or full board.
As with any accommodation method, the host family also has its advantages. First of all, you have to be prepared to give up some of your independence. You will then have relatively little time to yourself and you will have to comply with the rules laid down by the family. Families are also often further away from the language schools, unlike other types of accommodation, it is often necessary to take public transport for the journey.
Example of a host family in Dublin
2 - The choice of student residence
You can also choose to stay in a student residence during your language course.
The student residences are often located close to the language school where you will be taking your language courses, which can be a real advantage. In these student residence accommodations, you will have a room but you will often share the kitchen and showers with the other residents.
In addition to being close to your place of study, student residences are a real place of contact between students, which will allow you to practice the language you learn in class but also to be able to make friends with people from all over the world. But be careful, this proximity with other students can also be a disadvantage because, if you are with students from your home country, you will be tempted to use your mother tongue for communication, which reduces the chance to improve your level of language in the most optimal way.
A room or an apartment in a student residence is usually more expensive than in a host family, but you will also be freer from your activities outside the language school. Finally, you can also be in a "shared room" which means that you will not be alone in your student room but with one or more students. This reinforces both the advantages and disadvantages we have just mentioned above.
3 - The shared apartment
The shared apartment is a type of accommodation that was long popular in Germany and England before becoming more widely available worldwide. The principle is simple: you share the apartment or house with other people who also live in it. However, you will have much more freedom than in a host family as you will have access to the kitchen independently and you will be able to carry out the activities that you like.
The shared flat is primarily aimed at individuals who wish to maintain a large degree of independence but who do not necessarily have the financial means to live alone in an apartment or studio.
This type of accommodation is preferred for long stays. The human aspect should not be neglected either, as you will be sharing accommodation with international students, so you should be open-minded and ready to discover other cultures.
Photos of a shared apartment in Malta
4 - The apartment or studio
The apartment or studio is undoubtedly, together with the hotel we will mention next, the type of accommodation that offers the greatest independence. In fact, the student who chooses this option will be alone and will be able to benefit from private accommodation to organize his or her time as he or she wishes. This obviously requires a certain level of maturity, but above all, it allows you to avoid having to adapt your own character to that of a host family or with flatmates. It is therefore a real option of independence which is made when the choice is made for an apartment or a studio.
But the main difficulty with this type of accommodation is of course the cost! Renting a studio or apartment alone is necessarily more expensive than renting it as a shared flat or with a host family. Moreover, one should not neglect the steps to be taken to find an apartment and all the supporting documents that will be necessary to provide to the owner of the apartment before being able to move in as a tenant.
5 - The hotel
A final accommodation solution is also possible for your language stays: The possibility of renting a hotel room.
In addition to the independence offered by this type of accommodation, the procedure for booking a hotel room will be much simpler than those for renting an apartment. The choice of a hotel is therefore a choice of maximum independence with simplified procedures.
However, hotel accommodation is mainly intended for individuals on short-term language stays. Indeed, the hotel bill could become particularly high in the case of a long-term stay and it would probably be more judicious to turn to the studio or apartment if you like freedom and your language stay is particularly long.
Budget, desire for independence, desire for cultural immersion, desire to meet other students with different backgrounds... there are many questions to ask yourself before choosing your type of accommodation. But what is certain is that there will always be a type of accommodation that suits each student.
Photos of Salini Resort - Hotel in Malta