Become a Host Family

Invite the world into your home! Become a host family for a young foreign volunteer.

Some thirty young foreigners arrive yearly in Finland to volunteer with an aim of getting to know local living and building new bridges between people. As a host family you will get a chance to get to know one of them.

Being a host family provides the whole family with a possibility to get know a new person and their cultural background as well as to strengthen language skills and ability to communicate with people with different kinds of backgrounds. At the same time the family gets a chance to see their own place and country of residence from a new point of view.

“If you are interested in becoming a host family, just try it! You can first make an agreement on half a year, for instance, and then see along the way what feelings the host family living evokes in all parties.” – host family mum Mari Harju

Who can become a host family? Anyone interested in getting to know a new person and their cultural background as well as to share their daily living with a new family member. We welcome as host families single people, couples as well as families with children.

Intercultural Understanding

Volunteers stay in Finland for 6 to 12 months, and thus we are primarily looking for families who can provide accommodation for the whole period. However, shorter periods are also considerable.

Most of our foreign volunteers work within social or educational field, such as in schools or with disabled people. The aim of the volunteer work periods is to promote intercultural understanding. All of our volunteers are 18 years old or older and they arrive both from within and beyond the Europe.

Approximately one third of our volunteers need host family accommodation. Therefore, host families are often vital for a successful voluntary work period. Time spent in a host family offers an unique opportunity for the volunteer to get to know the local environment and the ways of life. All of our volunteers are trained for volunteer work and living with host families both in their country and in Finland.

A Volunteer is a Part of the Family

Host family offers the volunteer food and accommodation. An own room is not a necessity, but there should be some kind of own place for the young volunteer in the house. The volunteer is not neither a hotel guest, domestic servant or a subtenant; The host family receives the volunteer and respects their rights and responsibilities.

It is important to include the volunteer in the family’s hobbies and everyday life to make the volunteer feel at home. In addition, it is good to talk about the possible differences in customs and habits.

When and how to apply?

Most of the volunteers arrive in Finland in August–September. If you would be interested in becoming a host family for one of them, please contact us in the previous spring. We yearly receive a few volunteers also at other times, so one is welcome to apply to become a host family all year around.

To apply, please contact us for for applying instructions!

Programme Coordinator Mari Takalo
hosting(at)maaailmanvaihto.fi
09 774 1101, 044 318 0888