Homestay is a form of tourism and/or study abroad program that allows the visitor to rent a room from a local family to better learn the local lifestyle as well as improve their language ability. While homestays can occur in any destination worldwide, some countries do more to encourage homestay than others as a means of developing their tourism industry. Hosting a homestay participant also allows the local family to earn some additional, needed income. Having low profitability, as it is, homestay can not be regarded as strictly commercial activity, but more of cross cultural exchange.[verification needed] Students generally arrange a homestay with their school or educational institution, but can also informally arrange to stay with a family through social connections, and through a variety of private agencies. There are a number of online homestay agencies that connect students with hosts all over the world (usually for a nominal fee).
Types of homestays 
Homestay scenarios can range from a completely immersive family experience, to a very basic room rental.
In the immersive family experience a homestay student lives, eats, and shares the majority of their time in the host country with the hosts and their family. Family events such as dining out, amusement parks, camping, travel, etc. usually involve the host student who may or may not be expected to pay a portion for the participation (tickets, parking, gas, travel expenses, et al.). The student is invited to participate in Holiday festivities (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) and family events (weddings, birthdays, etc.)
At the other end of the spectrum, students may simply be renting a room within a private home with minimal supervision from a host or family.
Additionally, there are a working homestay agreements where a student is expected to perform duties such as yard work, farm work, babysitting, maid services - usually in exchange for accommodation fees or as part of.
Typical contracts and agreements 
A clash of cultures can sometimes result between a homestay student and the host family.[verification needed] To mitigate any issues, most homestay arrangements involve a contract or written agreement between the host and student. A contract will outline what is expected of the homestay student and may include items such as;
- Chores to perform (cleaning, laundering)
- Use of the Internet, television
- Use of the telephone
- Guest visits
- Smoking/drinking rules
as well as the details of what is being provided by the host in terms of:
- Meal provisions
- Communications (Internet, telephone)
- Entertainment (TV, radio)
Generally, a host must provide a private room for sleep and study that has a lock and a washroom must be available that is convenient for the student to use. Most other items are negotiable in terms of availability and price.
In Australia homestay is arranged either through the university/college the student is attending or through a specialist homestay services provider. These organisations typically have many hosts who deliver the services. Students visiting Australia who are under 18 must have a guardian and live in homestay with a host family that have had a background check. In New South Wales it is called a Working With Children Check, some providers make this type of background check as mandatory for all families wishing to use their services.
These homestay services providers, also known as Homestay Groups, typically have some form of accreditation/affiliation with the state based Departments of Education, especially for international students. Homestay Groups do not have to be registered or accredited to operate. It is best to use an organisation that has some degree of longevity and known to the education provider.
"International students have special needs that are characterized by their language ability, industry experience, work rights, cultural understanding, accommodation, transport and social needs …”
"Australia is culturally diverse nation and embraces many cultures that these different nations have introduced into our beautiful country. You will be offered a family that speaks English and has resided in Australia for many years, however please remember that everyone comes from somewhere, Sydney is home to people from over 140 countries around the world. This means that we have families of English, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, American, French backgrounds just to name a few. You are welcome to advise that you do not wish to have homestay with a particular nationality."
JAPAN - PARIS
Choosing a homestay in Japan through a website like homestayinjapan.com for example is an opportunity to experience the lifestyle and culture by living with a safe host family.
In a homestay , international students or tourists can learn Japanese while practicing language skills in a safe home abroad.
Staying with a host family in Japan has become very popular among international visitors. Since the homestay option has been developed over a long period of time and it is now known around the world; it is becoming more and more popular , for several reasons:
-Japanese people want visitors to discover their country
-Hotel are expensive and accommodations with a host family is a good alternative
Japan is among the most beautiful countries in the world. The homestay families will help you discover and understand the beauty and richness of Japanese culture for an unforgettable stay in Japan.
The host families are usually carefully selected: the homestay agencies require from all of them the capability to have interesting exchanges with their guest, who is considered as a friend of the family.
Homestay in Paris through a website like homestay-in-paris.com for example is the right choice in order to make rapid progress in French language and to be immersed in French culture.
Paris’ many language schools, universities, colleges and other training institutes welcome an increasing number of students each year.
Whether the purpose of a student's visit is to study French, to follow a course at a language school, or on study abroad program at any other college or universities, work in Paris, or just visit Paris as a tourist, homestay in Paris is an ideal accommodation solution.
Risks for the host 
Typically, hosting a homestay student is a rich and rewarding experience that allows the sharing of cultures, information, and experience. However, studying abroad is often the first time the homestay student is away from the parents and home country. This may result in adjustment issues for the student[verification needed]. The host must be able to deal with separation issues, anxiety, and the like.
Scams on the internet are becoming fairly commonplace - when engaging in financial transactions that may require international payments, cheques, and money orders being sent there is always the possibility of making oneself vulnerable to scams and fraud. The host family is best to educate themselves on the issues, and protect themselves adequately through the use of a good contract. A common example of a scam is the "Advance Fee" fraud, where the scammer overpays with a fraudulent or stolen cheque, and asks for a refund before the fraud is noticed.
Risks for the student/guest 
There are two basic motivations for a family to engage in the operation of a homestay:
- The family is looking to assist students, inject culture, and better understand the world and its people through a mutual exchange of traditions, knowledge and culture.
- The family is looking to augment their income.
Usually, a family bears a healthy mix of these two reasons in opening their home to students and international visitors.
Occasionally, however, there are instances where a family, or individual, is looking only to capitalize on the financial opportunity and has little or no concern for the interests of the student.
A student is encouraged to look at the history of students and guests that the family has hosted, and to ask for a reference from a student who has recently attended their homestay. If a family refuses to give a reference, a student is advised to stay away. Also, a student should look for a contract that not only protects the interests of the homestay host, but also the interests of the student. There should be a clear listing of the obligations of both the student and host family.
- Rivers, William P. (1998). "Is Being There Enough? The Effects of Homestay Placements on Language Gain During Study Abroad". Foreign Language Annals 31 (4): 492–500. doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.1998.tb00594.x.
- "Three Interesting Events On Selangor Tourism 2008 Itinerary". Malaysian National News Agency. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
- Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, Submission 49. (2010). ESOS Review - Final Report. Canberra: Australian Government.
- HomestayNetwork Pty Ltd. (2010, January 26). Student homestay - cultural diversity. Retrieved from http://www.homestaynetwork.com.au/student-information/student-stay.html