Gift Guide, News & General

Gifts For Host Family [Ideas + SOURCES] | Surprise Picks!


Making a lasting impression on your host family is crucial. Opting for thoughtful presents to give your homestay family can effortlessly establish a connection and set a positive tone from the very beginning.

Don’t procrastinate and miss out on the opportunity to grab a delightful mug or magnet from the airport right before you depart.

Demonstrating deliberate contemplation and utmost consideration towards your present can indicate to your relatives that you are brimming with enthusiasm to become a cherished member of their abode and eagerly anticipate forging meaningful bonds with them throughout your sojourn.

Remember, dedicating time to cultivating a harmonious bond with your host family not only enhances your immersion in the local culture, but it also propels your linguistic progression while you’re away from home.

Continue reading to discover some suggestions and guidance on selecting the perfect present to bring to your host family!

Jessie Lewis and her guardian mother in Seville
Jessie Lewis and her host mom in Seville

Did you know? Host family is referred to as “familia anfitriona” or “familia de

Why stay with a homestay family

Hopefully, by now, you have already decided to reside with a homestay household during your time overseas.

Most of the students enrolled in Spanish Studies Abroad choose to reside with homestay families, which offers an exclusive opportunity to immerse oneself in a foreign culture and truly feel like a member of the family. Embracing this living arrangement is considered the optimal approach to enhance your Spanish language skills!

Our program requirements are met by our on-site staff, who diligently handpick our homestay families. Numerous families we collaborate with have graciously welcomed our students for an extensive period of time!

See more 🎁:  38 Tea Quotes That Will Inspire Every Tea Drinker
Susana Guerrero with her foster family in Seville
Susana Guerrero with her host family in Seville

When to give your host a gift

Prior to your departure, anticipate receiving valuable details regarding your host family, ranging from their residence’s location to the composition of its inhabitants, including the presence of children or delightful pets.

Upon occasion, a brief depiction of the family and their curious pastimes or fervors may be included. Upon acquiring such knowledge, the moment to embark on a shopping spree presents itself.

Upon arrival

Offering a thoughtful gift upon your first encounter with your host family or upon reaching their abode is a splendid method to express gratitude and foster a warm atmosphere.

We recommend presenting them with the gift your first day or at dinner the first night when the whole family is home.

Impress your hosts and make a lasting first impression by mastering a phrase in the native language of your host family. For instance, try saying “Gracias por su hospitalidad” to thank them for their warm welcome. This small gesture will surely amaze your hosts and show your appreciation.

Departing gift

Seeking a delightful approach to express gratitude to your host family and bid them farewell with a memorable keepsake as your sojourn concludes?

Surprise them with a delightful combination of vibrant flowers nestled in an exquisite picture frame, alongside a cherished snapshot capturing the beautiful moments shared with your host family. Alternatively, a heartfelt thank you note written in their mother tongue would be a lovely gesture.

Bidding farewell can occasionally be a challenging task. Numerous students in our midst forge enduring bonds with their host families and remain connected with them for years ahead!

See more 🎁:  Best graduation gifts for travelers: Help your recent grad’s memories be greater than their dreams
Pupils in Cuba commemorating a birthday with native companions and relatives.
Students in Cuba celebrating a birthday with local friends and family

Where to find inspiration

Presents do not need to be costly and should focus more on the consideration and customization you invest in them.

In order to ignite the flow of creativity, we have curated a collection of sources that can be explored to discover intriguing suggestions for gifts to give your host family.

The Spanish Studies Abroad team

Assistance is readily available! Each and every member of our team boasts international study experience. They possess a treasure trove of personal gift anecdotes and can furnish recommendations from former students.

You local study abroad office or returning students on your home campus

Some of the most valuable sources for suggestions can be found right on your own college campus! Make a connection with your study abroad department to obtain a list of students who have previously participated in your desired program. In the case of enrolling in a Spanish Studies Abroad program, feel free to request our assistance in linking you up with one of our former students.

A local boutique or store in your hometown

Ditch the generic retail giants and support local businesses to find a truly exceptional present that reflects the essence of your hometown or state. Additionally, consider exploring your campus bookstore for some university merchandise options!


Are you still uncertain? Pinterest is teeming with a plethora of gift boards tailored specifically for homestay family ideas. With an abundance of captivating content at your disposal, you’ll find yourself engrossed in browsing for countless hours.


Some of us lack the talent to create our own gifts, but fear not! Etsy comes to the rescue as a treasure trove of all things beautifully handcrafted, delightfully vintage, rare, or simply one-of-a-kind.

See more 🎁:  67 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Your Girlfriend Will Love


Youtube is a treasure trove of captivating videos that can ignite your imagination with great ideas! With a front-row seat, you can witness the gifts chosen by fellow students and steer clear of any undesirable choices. In this delightful video, Kari, who is enjoying an exciting overseas adventure in Spain, graciously shares the thoughtful gifts she purchased for her beloved family. What impresses us is her consideration for both the little ones and the parental figures, Mom and Dad.

Make it personal

Infusing your gift with a personalized flair inspired by your ancestry or the unique landscape you come from can be an exceptional gesture to impart a fragment of your roots to your gracious host family.

Kira Hakanson, our Admissions Advisor, proudly embraces her Swedish-American heritage. As a heartfelt gesture to her Ecuadorian host family, she presented them with exquisite wooden figurines of the renowned dalahäst, a cherished symbol of Swedish tradition.

While exploring Argentina and Scotland, our Admissions Manager Abbi Eidt decided to infuse her experiences with a touch of the U.S. South by carrying along bottles of fiery hot sauce and a generous supply of tantalizing creole seasoning!

Discovering and incorporating unique regional ingredients or culinary delights that may not be readily accessible in your adopted nation offers an incredible opportunity to join forces with your host family and create a delectable meal together, fostering a cherished moment. This engaging and interactive experience serves as a delightful means to wholeheartedly share and impart your cultural heritage upon them!

Katherine Moronta who studied in Cuba says, “Nothing better than having a host family that made you feel like home!”

What gifts not to get your host family

As much as we adore the concept of culinary delights, it is vital to exercise caution when transporting items that are not long-lasting and prone to spoilage during transit (consider fruits, veggies, and cheese). Moreover, it is crucial to avoid carrying any goods that might harbor pests (such as seeds, plants, soil, and the like).

See more 🎁:  40 Going Away Gifts People Actually Want

Generally, long-lasting products are a reliable choice and remember to consider TSA regulations if you are traveling with carry-on baggage.

It is advised against bringing wine or alcohol as gifts, as the host family in the country you are studying in may embrace a more traditional approach compared to what you are accustomed to in the U.S.

It is wise to exercise caution when considering the idea of bringing alcohol into one’s residence. It is important to remember that the policy of Spanish Studies Abroad strictly prohibits drinking in your homestay.

Steer clear of ordinary trinkets commonly spotted at airports such as key chains, mugs, and magnets. Host families with extensive experience in accommodating students probably boast an impressive assemblage of these souvenirs.

Top 8 Host Family Gift Ideas

  • Cuisine from your geographical area or cultural background.
  • A recipe card and ingredients.
  • A board or card game unique to your local state or area.
  • A shirt or baseball hat from your college or nearby sports club.
  • Artwork.
  • An item crafted by
  • A collection of photographs or a picture
  • A throw, shawl, or
  • In order to assist you, our team has curated an assortment of delightful host family gift suggestions. These recommendations are inspired by our own experiences studying abroad, aiding students in their preparations for overseas journeys, and engaging in post-return conversations. We wholeheartedly encourage you to let your imagination soar!

    1.Snack or food item from your geographic region or heritage

    Discover a distinct treasure from your region that is seldom encountered in the destination where you will pursue your studies (for instance, maple syrup, saltwater taffy, artisanal chocolates, or exquisite homemade preserves).

    See more 🎁:  20 Best Gifts for comic book lovers

    2.Recipe card and ingredients

    Building upon the aforementioned idea, why not embark on an exciting culinary adventure and craft a delightful concoction of your choice alongside your loved ones? Whether it be the irresistible allure of brownies, the fluffy perfection of pancakes, or the comforting charm of oatmeal cookies, the possibilities are endless!

    3.Board or card game, puzzle specific to your home state or region

    Board games and puzzles also serve as enjoyable pastimes to bond with your host family.

    4.T-shirt or baseball cap from your university or local sports team memorabilia

    Embracing the love for sports can serve as a remarkable conduit for cultural connections, exemplified by the adoration for baseball in Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the reigning passion for fútbol – soccer – in Spain!


    Bringing a small reproduction or artwork of your city or region is always appreciated.

    6.Handmade item

    This is your golden opportunity to unleash your inner creativity. Whether your passion lies in the realm of photography, pottery, or painting, a handmade masterpiece makes for a truly heartfelt and unparalleled present.

    7.A photo book or photo album

    Surprise your loved ones with a captivating coffee table book showcasing breath-taking images of your cherished homeland or local area, or opt for a delightful photo album that allows you to keep adding cherished moments during your time together.

    8.Blanket, Scarf or Tapestry

    A blanket, scarf, or tapestry created in your state or region of residence (for example: we adore these tapestries inspired by the Southwestern style).

    Mariella Kennedy and her host sibling in Seville
    Mariella Kennedy and her host sister in Seville


    In essence, a meaningful present for your homestay family ought to reflect your individuality and roots. It should serve as a catalyst for engaging discussions with your host about your unique cultural background, rich heritage, or the place you call home.

    See more 🎁:  DANCER SHOUT OUTS — The Dance Pointe

    Keep in mind that your host family might have welcomed international students into their abode with the intention of not only discovering your culture but also exchanging their own with you.

    Embracing the chance to engage with your host on a daily basis while exploring foreign lands, delving into their unique background, and honing your language skills will enhance your study abroad adventure to its fullest potential!

    Do you have additional inquiries regarding our homestays or programs? Reach out to us at this link: https://spanishstudies

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *