Interesting, Inexpensive Home Hospitality
I recently checked the offerings of home hospitality exchanges available with Friendship Force (www.thefriendshipforce.org.) There are a number that sound interesting, and many are reasonably priced.
A week staying with hosts in their home in Guzelbahce, Turkey costs just $565 starting October 30, though of course the rate does not include transportation to Turkey. Two weeks of hospitality in Santiago and La Serena, Chile is more expensive at $2536, but this rate includes air from Miami. The home hospitality normally includes most meals and some tours, and your hosts are certain to be welcoming.
If winter sports are your thing, consider a ten-day trip to Tiblisi, Georgia and nearby mountains. This exchange in January costs $999 for a home stay in the capital followed by time at a ski lodge to try skiing, snowboarding or other cold-weather pursuits. Transportation is extra.
There is also an option if you prefer the warm waters of the Caribbean. Consider a home hospitality/French immersion trip to the island of Guadeloupe in February --two weeks cost just $930 without air fare. Friendship Force has previously featured other language immersion tours, for Spanish and German. This could be a great way to combine language practice with seeing a new destination and making new friends.
These are just some of the offerings available. It is impossible to generalise much about the home hospitality you are likely to experience, since each host and residence is different. You can find yourself dealing with conditions that are quite different from those at home. Your hosts may be of modest means, middle class or quite rich. However, since Friendship Force exists to promote understanding among citizens or different lands, you can be sure they will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
I travelled to Russia with Friendship Force in the early summer of 2011, and there are several posts from that trip if you scroll back. It was truly one of the best trips among the many I have taken.