Your circle of friends will increase fast!
Graham is a Kiwi and Marissa is Filipino so I get the best of both worlds. They have a huge circle of friends and family which I have met. Within several weeks, my circle of connections and acquaintances grew exponentially. Their family and their closest friends have been a great help to me as I have assimilated in my new crowd. In fact, my first job was due to Graham’s recommendation and I successfully secured a job a month after I arrived. Marissa has introduced me to a lot of Filipinos here in Rotorua so I get the chance to mingle with my own countrymen too!
You get to travel most of the time
The Kiwis enjoy the outdoors and weekends are especially devoted to it. In a span of two months, together with EJ, my friend, I have been swimming in the waters of Ohope Beach in Whakatane, touring the gardens of Hamilton, climbing Mt. Maunganui in Tauranga, walking the streets of Matamata, discovering Auckland, frolicking in the shores of Lake Taupo, buying fruits in Te Puke, seeing the majestic mountains of Tongariro and Ruapehu, and roaming around seeing the best of Rotorua and its surrounding areas. It’s a good way to explore the country and travelling offers a lot of benefits to a weary heart.
You get a family
Probably the best benefit of being in a homestay is getting an instant mom and dad to take care of you. For me, I wanted to have the security offered by a foster family. It’s a good way to instil peace of mind with the family you left behind at home. There’s no better way to pacify their anxieties than to know you are here and being taken care of. A homestay family offers a ton of advice and valuable support once culture shock gets a grip on you and homesickness is limiting you to be what you wanted to become.
When my wife and my daughter visited me here three months after I arrived, my homestay family generously offered their home and treated my family as their own. It’s soothing to know that someone is looking after you and offering you a mug of warm ginger lemon tea to lift your spirits. This often comes with a simple note reminding you to eat, stay fit and be healthy!
These I believe are the benefits of living in a homestay. Wherever I will be in the future, I would definitely go back and visit them once again – back to the roots when I first came to appreciate how beautiful New Zealand is.