Homestay or Hostel? In today’s context, and with COVID 19 looking like its here to stay for a while, we feel that living in a homestay offers more benefits than a hostel.
Here is what you might consider when deciding on a place to live while studying in Singapore.
A homestay means living with a local host family or a guardian, while living in a hostel will involve a boarding location, with various facilities. While hostels tend to be on the larger scale with various locations and amenities, choosing a homestay would mean that the host is more responsive to your needs in a shorter time.
The room and type of day to day interactions would vary, with a homestay being more like living with family. In living with a family, you may to adapt to their food preferences and house rules. The benefits would be that you would be able to experience life more through having a local explain things to you. In this sense, a homestay would offer a more immersive cultural experience.
Living in a homestay means more privacy as you will usually be able to experience more privacy, since it will be shared with less people, or you can enjoy a room to yourself with an en suit. This will be more convenient when studying late into the night, or for chatting on the phone with friends. Less shared common spaces also means less chances of contracting viruses from others, which is always a plus.
Different services are provided by homestay and hostels. The basic services to consider are meals, Wifi, housekeeping, laundry and guardianship services. As a student living abroad, a responsible and reliable guardian is just as important, if not more, as the services provided, to make sure that your needs are attended to should you fall ill or need some assistance while aboard on your own. Be sure you have someone to call on if you need any help in an emergency.
Before signing any contracts with a homestay provider or a hostel, be sure to read the contract you are entering into. Some providers charge per term or require a full payment regardless of the duration of contract. In that sense, entering into a rigid contract will tie you down in the long run, and you may even forfeit some money if things do not work out in the long run and you think of shifting.