Many students are wondering how they should write their host family letter as part of the application process to be an exchange student abroad! Here are some tips to write a good host family letter.

How long should your host family letter be?

Your High School Study Abroad organization requires you to write a letter to your future host family. How long should it be?

Not too short, not too long! We advise future exchange students to take great care while working on their host family letter. The host families will carefully read what you have written to understand who you are. This letter should reflect your personality and current life. As well as your motivation to do this experience WITH them.

If you write a short letter, this information will be too basic and they will have difficulties imagining the person you are and projecting themselves welcoming you into their home. We do advise you to try to write about 1 1/2 or even 2 pages. This is usually enough to describe your life habits, your personality, your family and friends, your daily routine as well as the reasons why you applied to be an exchange student abroad.

If you apply to a student exchange in France, talk about your interest in the French language and culture. 
If you intend to do a High School Study Abroad program in Spain, maybe talk about when you started to study Spanish at school and why you would be interested in improving your Spanish skills. 

If you are interested in a High School exchange in Japan, maybe explain how you study the language and what is appealing in the traditional and pop culture of Japan. 

What should you talk about in your host family letter?

The whole idea is to present yourself and help the host family to know a bit more about the person you are. This is why you are invited to write :

  • about yourself,
  • your family and friends,
  • explain more about how your day looks like
  • explain the reasons why you have chosen to do a high school study abroad
  • share your feelings about the country you are going to study in
  • speak about your expectations about the program

What shouldn't you write in your host family letter?

The host family letter is not the place where you should write about your preferences about the host family composition or environment for example. Remember that your host family letter will be shared with several prospective host families, all different from each others : your letter should "speak" to any kind of host family.

You should therefore not list your expectations about the host family who will welcome you as they may feel they will not be a good fit for you if they can't fulfill all of your criteria!

Your letter should "motivate" a host family to welcome you in their home, but you should not lie about yourself. Be honest, tell them about your motivations, and your feelings about this experience but do not hesitate to share your concerns if any. It may also be their first time hosting and they may also be reassured to see that they are not the only ones who are a bit anxious about the experience, even if they are very motivated and excited!

How should you end a host family letter?

The best is to thank your host family for their commitment to the student exchange program and their readiness to welcome an exchange student to their home for a few months. Tell them also that you are willing to get to know them, integrate yourself into their family life as smoothly as possible, and discover their language and way of life. Show that you are willing to adapt and will do your very best to make this experience enjoyable for all of you!

High School Study Abroad programs require you to adapt to a new environment, and a new host family and you will surely be out of your comfort zone for the first few weeks until you get more comfortable! Applying to a student exchange program abroad is an important decision and taking the time to write the best letter to your future host family is a key to success! 

Most exchange programs abroad for High School students offer host family accommodation. In some cases, you may also apply to a Boarding school program abroad

One of our exchange students gives you some tips about how to write your host family letter:

"We have to fill a lot of forms and besides that, we also have to do a letter for our future host family. I know that a lot of exchange students find it hard to do. Today I'm going to give you some tips for you. I did search for my letter to put here in the video as an example but apparently, I don't have it anymore!

My first tip is to start your letter with the basics:

  • tell your host family about who you are
  • what you like to do
  • how is your routine
  • what do you do after school
  • tell them if you have brothers or sisters
  • how is your family
  • where do you live
  • tell them about your city
  • tell them about your school

My second tip is to be honest because they want to know who you really are. It's not necessary to lie. They're gonna like you. Just try to be as honest as possible.

The next tip is to make sure your letter isn't too short because that doesn't look good. One or two pages are. Make sure you don't write a four-page letter, that's too much!

End your letter by thanking your family for choosing you and for welcoming you into their home. Tell them that you are excited to meet them. It's really important. It makes your letter better. Don't forget also to be creative! Write a nice letter so they can enjoy it while they are reading it.

If the family chooses you, it's because they think you're nice and they like you."

Thank you Matheus for your great tips for future exchange students! It will surely help them to get inspired when they write their host family letter for the High School study abroad program

Watch the video


Did you like these tips? You can find a lot of content on this blog. Here are some suggestions:

17 Recommendations to get along with your Host Family Abroad!

Live in a host family abroad and discover a new country!

Culture Shock! Tips for deal with it.

Discover this and much more with Nacel. We're here to help you.

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