Through carefully chosen homestays, students gain a close view of the local culture and experience the daily rythm of life as a member of a host family. Homestays provide unique context and perspectives on issues being studied, additional language practice, and new avenues toward cultural understanding. Homestays are designed to reflect the full diversity of the community, with families representing a large variety of occupational, economic, and educational levels. Many programs offer homestays in both urban and rural areas to give students contrasting views of life in different socioeconomic or ethnic contexts. Rural homestays may involve basic living conditions, frequently without electricity or running water.
Homestay placements are arranged by a local homestay coordinator who screens and approves each family. Families vary in occupational, educational, and economic levels and live in diverse settings. Families include one or more adults and may or may not include children. Students are matched first and foremost based on health requirements and then on program match.
When not living with a homestay family, students stay in lodgings chosen under the guidance of the academic director. Accomodations may include guest houses, educational institutions, hostels or small hotels, depending on local conditions and customs.
SIT Study Abroad program fees include all courses, educational excursions, health insurance, and full room and board (all meals and accommodation) for the entire program period. During the Independant Study Project period, students are given stipends to cover the cost of accommodation and meals and must make independant arrangements, though staff on site can assist.