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Host Families

Practice Spanish and be exposed to the local culture

Our families are very open-minded. You will fall in love with your South American family.

What is an ECELA host family?


Homestay in Cusco, PeruHomestay in Cusco, Peru

 The Family and my room

You will live with a family that takes you as another member of the family, normally the ECELA students call their host mom, “my mama chilena” (my Chilean mom), you will have lots of opportunities to practice Spanish, learn the culture and most importantly make life long friends. 

Member of the host families: In most of families that have an empty room to share with an international student the kids are grownups and have already left the house.

We also have some host moms that live alone and they are happy to have more family living with them. Normally the host moms that live alone have lots of family and friends coming to visit.

We have only a few families with their kids still in the house (in South America, many people live with their parents as long as they are single).


The house - medium-high class

Please investigate about the economic standards, food and culture of the city that you choose, in order to have a realistic expectation and the best experience without too much of a cultural shock.

Your room will be medium size, with a bed of 90cm X 200cm, a closet or a comoda, night table and a small desk.

All ECELA Host families will provide you with Wifi. 


Cooking in empanadas in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaCooking in empanadas in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe food

We offer two options

      • Half pension: Breakfas and dinner
      • No meals included: you will have access to the kitchen. 


Half pension includes breakfast and dinner every day, and we highly recommend that you find out about the local food. It is one of the most important parts of cultural immersion and you should know what to expect. The food in Argentina, Chile and especially in Peru is famous for being tasty and rich.hout meals.

If your diet is complicated or very restricted, we suggest a homestay without food will be better for you where you can cook your own meals.

We recommend to stay with a local family to all our students, from all ages and nationalities.


  • Single rooms, double rooms only upon request and depend of availability 
  • Shared bathroom and common areas
  • Upgrade private bathroom in Santiago $60/wk
  • Weekly cleaning common areas and your room, changing towels & sheets weekly
  • Phone calls may be received to call only with prepaid calling card.
  • Located in Mid-High class neighborhoods
  • Breakfast & Dinner every day, shared with your family.
  • Special diet: Upon request (fee $ 40/wk)
  • All day move-In.
  • Maximum distance 40 minutes, average distance to the school 30 minutes
  • If your diet is complicated, maybe the shared apartment or homestay without food will be better for you where you can cook your own meals.


Important housing notes: 

  • We need all of the student’s information in order to place them in the right housing, including; age, sex, smoker, special diet, allergies, medical treatment, inconveniences to live with pets, etc.
  • All students should arrive directly to the address of their lodging and we also can coordinate something different.
  • Week runs from Sunday to Saturday
  • Maximum distance is 50 minutes by public transport.
  • Average distance from the school: Buenos Aires and Viña del Mar 35 Minutes, Santiago, Mendoza, Lima and Cusco 20 minutes.
  • Students arriving after the course/housing starts will not be refunded for any unused portion of their program.
  • Check-in time for the shared apartments can only be arranged from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Otherwise, an upgrade must be added.
  • For students who do not provide their flight details or arrival time to the accommodation, at least two working days in advance, the check-in time will be from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. only
  • Check-in: Rooms are available starting at 14:00 p.m. (Sunday start) if students arrive earlier than 14:00, they are free to wait in the living room until the assigned room is ready
  • Rooms should be unoccupied by 10:30 a.m. on the day of departure. Otherwise, a late fee will apply
  • General rules for ECELA’s accommodations:
  • Abuse of alcohol in the house is not permitted
  • Use or possession of illegal drugs in the house is strictly forbidden (students will be removed from classes and housing in less 24hrs without a refund)
  • Overnight guests are not allowed.
  • Phone usage: Students may receive phone calls but not make them. This is because outgoing calls have a charge. There are however many local phones to use and students may also buy pre-paid phone cards. Many students also rent cell phones.
  • If a student breaks one or more rules we reserve the right to cancel their program without a refund.


Shared apartment in Santiago ChileShared apartment in Santiago ChileFrequently Asked HOUSING Questions:


Q: Is it possible to switch homestay locations every month?
A: Yes, but only if you state your desire to do so at the moment of your registration. Once you have started your program it is not possible to do so without a strong reason; this is because we pay the accommodation for the complete week when the students start their program.

Q: How many students live with each family?
A: 1 to 3

Q: Does the family feel offended if you do not eat with them at times?
A: No, you can definitely eat out if you would like to, but we advise you to inform your host family about your schedule in order to avoid unnecessary concerns.

Q: Can the families pick up students upon arrival?
A: No, students are responsible to arrive to the family. Students can picked up by the transfer companies that work with ECELA (upon request).

5. Q: What happens if I don‘t spend the night at home?
A: We recommend that you call your family and inform them in order to avoid unnecessary worries or concerns.

Q: Can I have friends over to visit me?
A: You must ask your family each time before inviting a guest, the family decides it.

Q: Can I have friends over to spend the night?
A: No, it is advisable to always keep in mind the importance of respecting your family’s privacy.

Q: Can I smoke inside the house?
A: It depends on whether your host family allows it or not. We recommend smoking outside. However please inform us your specific needs regarding lodging preferences, such as smoking or non-smoking families.

Q: If I book a homestay, but once there, decide to look for housing facilities on my own do I get a refund?
A: No, the program is not refundable. Students can use the balance in other services.

Q: How much actual freedom is there when living in a homestay? How do the families view the students who frequently come home late at night?
A: Families have no problem with you getting home late and you always have to respect the rules. It is advised though that you inform them in advance in order to avoid unnecessary worries or concerns.

Q: Can I book a homestay in Chile and a shared apartment in Argentina or vice versa?
A: You can book different types of accommodation in each country.

Q: Can I arrange a double bed for me and my partner?
A: Double beds are offered based on availability. We suggest booking at least four weeks in advance.
- For homestays, each person pays full price. For shared apartments each person pays double (shared) room price.

Note: We would like to advise you that the distance from the school is greater in Buenos Aires and Lima because both are big cities. We recommend you to add the Walking Distance Upgrade in order to be close to school
In Santiago, Mendoza and Viña del Mar we have plenty of accommodations that are close to the school so we would recommend adding the Walking Distance Upgrade to be right next to the school, only if you have a condition that doesn’t allow you to walk 20 – 30 minutes.


Homestay in Santiago ChileHomestay in Santiago Chile

Student room in a Host family in Buenos AiresStudent room in a Host family in Buenos Aires

Student Room in a homestay in Viña del mar ChileStudent Room in a homestay in Viña del mar Chile