Some years ago, I traveled to England twice to take a general English courses and polish my English. In these occasions I stood with two British host families who were quite different. I couldn't believe it!
One had two little children and had a typical British accent while the other had grown-up children and spoke English with a strong foreign language. They didn't chat in English among themselves. What a surprise!
The first family was open-minded and didn't have any rules for grown-ups, except closing the front door correctly. On the other hand, the second family had strict rules for students based on their religious believes.
It was cool to be with host families because I became part of their every day life. If I had any questions I always had to speak in English and be polite to avoid missunderstandings due to cultural differences.
I could see how they acted, what they liked best and what they cooked. Yum! I ate similar food to what I ate back at home but the taste was not the expected. Yuck! I tried new snacks I even didn't know they existed. Awesome!
In the evenings the supper was always ready to enjoy with my host family. We talked about my daily activities, why I wanted to study English in England and hobbies. They also suggested places to visit. I practiced my English in a natural environment with a diversity of accents and speed, including the way adults address little children.
I really felt like living with my own family during my stay abroad. I always had somebody to lean a shoulder on. Lovely!
So, if you travel abroad I highly recommend you to stay with a host family. You will live an unforgettable experience and learn tons about the new culture. If you go for a long-term period, you should at least stay the first month with a family to get a real cultural experience and then move on if you wish.