Formal language learning in the classroom is further reinforced through such informal program component as homestays with Tanzanian host families. For the entire duration of the program, each participant lives with a Tanzanian family. All host families provide a private room including a bed, desk, and chair. Students receive a separate key to the house and lock for their rooms. Students should expect to do their own laundry. Host families provide two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) during the week and three meals on the weekends.
The American Councils host family program is a popular feature of the exchange experience, as it complements the academic portion of the program by contributing to language acquisition and a deeper understanding of Swahili culture. All families are chosen through a careful selection process and monitored throughout the program by the local Homestay Coordinator. Placements are made with consideration for student preferences and special requirements. In addition, best efforts are made to match students with families who share their interests. Each location is checked for security, relative proximity to the university and transportation routes, fire safety, and overall living conditions.