You will learn about your homestay upon arrival in Florence and will receive detailed information about them in person directly from the Stanford in Florence Staff.
We pride ourselves on the fact that we have worked with many of our families for several years. Most of our new families come to us by word of mouth and usually come highly recommended by our “old families”. We screen our host families very carefully and look for hosts who are welcoming, accommodating, open-minded and tolerant regarding questions of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. We also look closely at their homes and pay great attention to details such as students’ study space, cleanliness, storage space and the general comfort level of the home. Their homes are in typical Florentine neighborhoods and easily accessible to the Stanford Center by foot or by public transportation. We always try to group our students in small clusters in the same neighborhoods.
We try to accommodate all your requests so please be as specific as possible when you fill out your housing form. If you request a roommate or wish to stay alone with your host family we will do our best to make that happen. On the basis of what you indicate on your housing form, you will either be accommodated in a double room with a Stanford roommate, in a single room with another Stanford student at the homestay, or by yourself, in a single room, with your host family.
Since every homestay is different and every home is different, rooms will vary greatly from family to family. You should expect, however, to have a bed, closet/storage space, shelves and/or drawers, a nightstand, a desk/table and a chair.
Since you will be eating with your entire Italian family, a family member will be cooking dinner. You can, however, ask to help prepare meals. This is a great way to learn some secrets of Italian cuisine and it is also a fun way to get to know your host family better. If you want to cook a special dinner, you can discuss this with your Italian family and they will most likely enjoy cooking it with you.
We pay careful attention to your language background and to what you indicate on your housing form. Students coming to Florence with no Italian whatsoever will be placed with families where at least one member of the household speaks English. Our students, even those with no prior Italian instruction, have found that studying Italian every day while in Florence, along with the true full immersion experience of living with a host family, facilitates communication rapidly and immensely.
Yes they will. Again, just be sure to indicate clearly on your housing form anything you think it is important for us to communicate to your host family such as allergies, dietary preferences, and the like. Our families will happily and easily accommodate any special needs you might have.