Frequently Asked Questions
On this page you will find a constantly updated list of questions regarding HESTIA, the organisation and people behind it, the host families and many more topics.
Please read the questions carefully. Incase you still have questions regarding HESTIA, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Most of our families are accustomed to receive international guests so this will not be the first time for them. They are all very welcoming and outgoing. We made sure of this.
In the application and matching process you will get more background information on the family / families we matched you with.
Generally, they all speak english but part of the challenge is for you to practice your German.
Yes it is perfectly safe. We have vetted, interviewed and filtered all families. Many of the families have worked for us for more than 10 years. Your safety is a priority here at Hestia.
Every single family has been visited by our Center Managers before your arrival.
Our Center Managers prepare everything and check the room before your arrival. In an exceptional case if the standard is not met you can change free of charge.
Absolutely not, think of it as your small apartment inside a German house.
Yes you will have to obey the house rules like in any other residence but you are fully independent. Even though you are free to mingle and go wherever you want we encourage you to get to know the families because that is one of the best opportunities you will have to get to know the German culture and the German language.
We know our families and they can be quite fun.
Of course you can ask for advise but remember the family has no obligation on solving your problems.
Questions about HESTIA
HESTIA is named after the ancient greek goddess of hospitality and stands for exactly that: giving international students a home away from home.
We live by that aim and want to give a temporary home to everyone who come to Germany as a student.
We recommend you book your room as soon as possible. As soon as you have all your visa documents in order.
An extension for the HESTIA programme must be requested at least three weeks before the end of the programme. Please understand that we cannot guarantee an extension because family is not a hotel, they always plan their family life, like holidays, guests, early.
We recommend to plan the length in HESTIA program before applying, so that your accommodation in a city is planned without any gaps.
If you extend your stay, we will do our best to fulfil this wish. Please understand that we cannot guarantee this request.
In the unlikely case, that we cannot accommodate you with the same family, don’t worry, we will find a suitable family for you.
COVID related Questions
We will make everything in our power to get back to you as soon as possible. Unfortunately the pandemic has made some of our processes a bit slower. Being this said we ask for your patience but bear in mind we will not forget your inquiry and will answer as soon as we can.
Your insurance will cover hospitalization and medical attention. For more details please go to the following link.
In case you should fall ill, please let us know immediately if your travel plans are affected. If you should not be able to travel to Germany because of closed borders or your own infection, we will reimburse the full amount to you. The only thing we will need from you is a medical confirmation or the rejection of the embassy.
You will have a private room equipped with all the necessary furniture you will need for your student life. This includes a comfortable bed, desk with a chair, a closet for your clothing and a window for fresh air circulation.
The HESTIA programme includes every cost related to accommodation and most meals. There are no hidden fees.
Warm rent refers to “all inclusive”. It means, that all the utilities (electricity, gas, water) are included.
On the other side “kalt” rent or “cold” rent refers to what you owe the landlord per month just for the flat.
The utilities will be set and covered all by you, the landlord will not be involved in this part. Or the landlord pays first and charges once a year.
No, all utilities (WIFI, water, electricity and heating) are included with your HESTIA plan. This is a HESTIA perk because all included services in Germany are quite unusual.
In Germany every household needs to pay 18.50€ for radio and television services per month.
Nowadays not everybody sees public Tv and listens to public radio but there is no exception. Every household by law needs to pay it with the exception of people with disabilities, recipients of education grants and individuals under a welfare payment plan.
If you live in a HESTIA family, you do not have to pay radio and TV tax.
Yes, these two meals are included except for lunch on week days.
On weekends and bank holidays lunch is included.
All houses have washing machines to use free of charge. Having this a few meters from your room will save you the commute to the laundry room, the time wasted waiting for everything to finish and your precious euros.
This is a big plus from our HESTIA plans because in Germany it is not common to find laundry rooms in every corner. Check with your HESTIA family if they have certain laundry days.
Please understand that you have to do the laundry yourself.
Not all houses have a drying machine. It is still very common for people here in Germany to hang their clothing to dry.
No. The German standard is for you to pay a 3 month deposit when you move to your new flat. The amazing scenario with Hestia is that you don’t need to pay a deposit just the fee of your Hestia plan.
You only need to prove that you have a liability insurance.