Frequently asked questions

Because homestays are unique experiences, we answer your frequent questions here.

General topics

Host Families in Paris organises the accommodation of students, teachers, business travellers or private travellers in Paris with families carefully selected for their reliability and the quality of the accommodation they provide.

We welcome people of all nationalities, without age limit. Most of our guests are students following a programme at a university, a grande école or an educational institute in Paris, or are part of a university, school or professional course. But we also welcome people on language stays, internships or professionals.

We offer accommodation in single or double rooms.

  • The single room is a room for the exclusive use of the guest.
  • The double room is a room with two beds, shared by two guests, usually from the same student group.


Different formulas are proposed:

  • homestay
  • breakfast only
  • half board: one or more shared dinners per week


Don't hesitate to check our Formulas for more details!

We have a Quality Charter which expresses the commitment between the host, the host family and Host Families in Paris. It defines the basic principles of quality accommodation, reciprocal tolerance and mutual respect that govern the stays of people hosted by us. Following this same principle of reciprocity, in times of pandemic, an additional protocol has been put in place to further ensure the safety of all.

In addition, there may be rules of living and organisation that are specific to each household. Nevertheless, you will soon notice that you have a lot of freedom when you choose to stay with a host family!

Each household has its own arrangements for household chores, so you should not hesitate to ask the host family directly. Nevertheless, you are expected to leave the common areas (bathroom, toilets and kitchen) clean after each visit. You are also expected to keep your room tidy during your stay: make your bed, tidy up your belongings, air out the room and clean  surfaces and floors regularly.

When you trust us to find you a host family, we guarantee you an optimal and quality service. All our packages include a reasonably sized room with bed linen and towels. The family will provide you with free WiFi access and access to a washing machine. The only additional insurance you need to take out is multi-risk habitation insurance, which is compulsory in France. Host Families in Paris can act as an intermediary and take out this insurance for the host.

Multi-risk habitation insurance is compulsory in France. It covers tenants and/or owners for certain risks such as fire, theft, glass breakage, water damage or assistance in the event of a problem with the front door lock. The comprehensive insurance policy also provides you with third party liability cover. It is imperative that you provide Host Families in Paris with a certificate of home insurance in French.

If you decide to take out insurance through Host Families in Paris, the insurance certificate will be provided to you with explanations and contact details of the insurer.

In France, smoke detectors have been mandatory in all homes since 2010. At Host Families in Paris, we place great importance on the safety of the people we host. We strongly encourage host families to install fire extinguishers and systems for guests to lock their rooms from the inside if necessary.

For homes with access to gas, we recommend installing carbon monoxide detectors.

Host Families in Paris is a partner of several educational and university organisations, and regularly receives groups of students and their supervisors (see our Partners page for more information).

Do not hesitate to submit your needs to us, so that we can make you a personalized proposal!


We will ask you as soon as possible to provide us with a copy of your passport, a copy of your visa (if applicable) and a copy of your current civil liability insurance in French (compulsory in France and if you have enrolled yourself).

These are families from Paris who have applied to join the network of Host Families in Paris. They have been selected because :

  • They have a fairly large family home with at least one room reserved for reception and offering optimal conditions of hygiene and comfort.
  • They have unreservedly adopted the constraints and quality requirements set out in our Quality Charter, which defines the basic principles of accommodation quality. This charter defines the principles of mutual tolerance and respect that govern the stays of people hosted by our agency.
  • They have also adhere to our Covid protocol.

No. Host Families in Paris is responsible for meeting the families, selecting them and visiting the accommodation. In the same way, families do not choose their student.

For each stay, we choose the host family that best suits your profile: languages spoken, special dietary requirements, matching the family's pace of life with yours, distance from the host's school or workplace etc. (visit our Families page for more details).

The host family stay should be a success for everyone: the host and the host family.

It is therefore quite normal to feel a little lost for the first few days after your arrival. Keep in mind that you are in another country, another culture and that it is probably different from what you are used to, especially in terms of the organisation of family life.

Don't hesitate to ask your host family for advice! It is important to them that you feel comfortable too. If you feel that it is taking you a while to adjust, we are here to help you.


As soon as the host family has been confirmed, we will send you an information sheet with a description of the home and contact details so that you can contact the family, introduce yourself and start getting to know them. This confirmation will be done at the latest two weeks before your arrival.

Our homestay offer includes a "French breakfast" which usually consists of a hot drink, fruit or fruit juice, yogurt or milk, cereal or bread, butter and jam.

You can, of course, add whatever you like to it yourself, in which case it is up to you to buy the extra products you want or need.

Depending on the home, breakfast will be available as self-service or served in the kitchen.

We recommend the B&B formula with 3 to 5 dinners. It allows you to be free to eat out 2 to 4 nights a week which can be convenient if you have activities at the end of the day.

We attach great importance to meals shared with the family, it is part of our values. It is an opportunity for you to practice your French but also to immerse yourself in French culture and share moments with your family.

Host Families in Paris will have confirmed certain details with the host family, but any allergies or special dietary requirements should of course be discussed beforehand.

We recommend the half-board option for short and intensive stays. The family takes care of breakfast and all dinners. You do not have to worry about shopping and preparing your own meals. This formula allows you to be completely immersed in the family and to practice your French intensively during shared dinners.

For longer stays, this choice can be tiring for you and burdensome for the family.

Yes, the change of formula can be done, if the family agrees and must be validated by Host Families in Paris. You may be charged an additional fee.

We ask host families to explain to you on arrival how their home works and what rooms you can and cannot access. In terms of communal areas, you will have access to at least the bathroom, whether shared or not, and the kitchen. In each of these rooms, you will have spaces reserved for you and you will have to agree with the family on the times of use.

You will also have space in the fridge and a cupboard. You are not allowed to store food in your room.

Feel free to contact us at any time, but ideally a month in advance. Whatever happens, we will always find a solution even at the last minute. Of course, if you know your dates of stay and preferences in advance it is better to contact us as soon as possible.
To confirm your request for accommodation with Host Families in Paris, you will have to pay us the application fee.

It is quite normal to feel a little lost for the first few days after your arrival. Keep in mind that you are in another country, another culture and that it is probably different from what you are used to, especially with regard to the organisation of family life.

In general, it is necessary to give yourself some time to adapt (except in the case of extreme emergencies, about ten days).

We think it is important to discuss these concerns with your host family. It is important to them that you feel comfortable too. If you feel that it is taking you a little while to adjust, we are here to help you.

If you cannot or do not want to discuss this with the host family, we are here for you. We will discuss this together and work out the best strategy. Sometimes it is necessary for us to discuss the situation with the host family, in which case this will be done diplomatically and confidentially. Often it is a simple misunderstanding that can be rectified very easily, and sometimes we have to make another decision.

The host family stay should be a success for everyone: the host and the host family.

Our offices are located in the premises of Étoile Institut at 38, boulevard Raspail in Paris. If you want to meet us, it is preferable to contact us beforehand by phone or by email and to agree on an appointment (face-to-face or remote).

Each family has its own arrangements. You will need to ask permission to invite and receive guests. If agreed, the times, frequency and type of guests must be approved by the host family at all times, including in their absence. During a pandemic, it is not allowed to have guests in the house.

This is one of the first things you will be given on arrival, and this set of keys must be returned on departure.

Locks are probably different in France from what you know. You should not hesitate to check with the family how the lock works, when and where to put the keys and even ask them again if necessary. You should feel at home and comfortable coming and going freely.

Be aware that you are expected to take responsibility for lost keys. The loss of keys may result in the replacement of the lock. You will be held financially responsible for the replacement of the keys and locks (beware as this can cost up to €1200).

In principle, no one will pick you up. However, we will provide you with directions from the airport to Paris and then to your host family's flat, along with the family's contact details.

If you wish, we can also organise your transfer from the airport with a private driver! Please ask us for more information about this additional service.

For short stays, the full payment, plus a deposit, is due at the time of confirmation of the accommodation in order to guarantee the family's reservation for the requested duration.

This sum must be paid on receipt of the invoice and in any case within 10 working days of the date of issue of the invoice. This date is clearly indicated in the invoice when the host family is confirmed.

Payment can be made by PayPal or by bank transfer.

For longer stays, we can set up a quarterly payment schedule.

Yes, a payment schedule can be set up on request, after studying your case. In general, we ask you to pay the first quarter and one month's deposit, then payments every 3 months. The payment terms will be clearly indicated on the invoice.


There are several advantages to having a guest in your home. First of all, it is a good way of obtaining additional income by offering an empty room in your flat.

Having a host in your home is also very stimulating! If you like to talk and share your knowledge of French culture, you may be the right person to become a host family.

Our expertise allows us to combine your habits and personality with those of the guests to create a unique and different experience for you every time.

Yes, you can! On the contrary, it is important that you continue to have the same rhythm of life and let the host go out as well. If you are going to be away, especially during one of the dinners with the host, you should make sure to inform him/her and leave a meal for him/her to heat up if necessary.

However, we do not recommend going away every weekend, or asking your host to come with you from time to time (at his or her own expense if you travel by train, for example).

In case of absence, for more than three nights, please inform Host Families in Paris.

You should also ensure that the host knows how to turn off the water, turn on the electricity, who to contact in an emergency and where to find a spare key.

You can always suggest a joint activity to the host, we recommend it. But of course you don't have to!