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Andrea - as always lots valuable info. I never tried couchsurfing but think it's a great idea when you are traveling on a budget - if I would go back to New Zealand I would consider this as an alternative to hostels, though the hostels are pretty good.

Though not really couchsurfing, we had students from Japan staying with us for 2 weeks ( one at a time) and as these were young girls we made sure they were treated like family members - we showed them around places and also always drove them around (though they were perfectly capable to use public transport!). It was nice though, because you get a glimpse into a different culture. Both girls didn't speak much English (though as they were here to learn it), so communication could be a bit tricky.

Brian Thomason

Very good information, Andrea!

As an avid CouchSurfer, and Help Desk volunteer team member, do you mind if I share the link to this page with others, who are worried about their first time hosting?

Well done, well said!

Happy Surfing!

Andrea Wren

Thanks for your comment Helen - I definitely think there is more to couchsurfing then just a 'free room', like you say, similar to an exchange and about a glimpse into other lives/cultures while making new friends (except you don't have to exchange back).

Andrea Wren

Hey Brian - more than happy for you to share my link, that would be great! Glad you liked the article :-)

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