Away from Home

Away from Home


Let’s talk about your hometown

What does your hometown look like?

What are some reasons why people would want to visit your hometown?

How do most visitors travel to your hometown?


Let’s move on to discuss being away from home

How often do you go on trips?

Have you ever been away from home for a very long time?

What do you miss the most when you are away from home?

Do you think you will move to a new home in the future?


Now let’s talk about ways to travel

What is your favourite way to travel?

Do you like to sit by the window when you travel?

Are there any types of transport you don’t like?

Would you like to go on a long journey by boat?

PART 2: Model Answer 


You should say:

-where you stayed

-why you stayed there

-how you felt when you stayed there

and explain how you felt when you stayed there.

I’d like to talk about my stay in a traditional Japanese-style inn. To find it I had arranged to meet one of the staff outside the station to walk me to my accommodation which was very nice. After finally meeting her we made small talk for a few minutes before heading off to the inn. It took about 10 minutes all up and on the way there I spoke in my bad Japanese while she spoke in her bad English and somehow we managed to understand each other.

The inn was beautiful on the outside and spotlessly clean on the inside. It had the usual traditional straw mats so you had to take your shoes off before entering the premises. As expected the rooms were small with sliding decorated paper windows and a futon on the floor for sleeping on. They even had western-style toilets and not the traditional Japanese-style toilets.

At the inn, they served traditional Japanese food which I was very much looking forward to. I remember my first meal in Japan was dinner and consisted of a bowl of miso soup, a bowl full of Japanese soy beans, a small bowl of mixed pickled vegetables followed by a radish salad and a mouth-watering piece of Japanese mackerel. After dinner, a big group of foreigners staying at the inn decided to go out drinking and invited me to go with them but I was far too tired for that so I politely declined.

Overall, I’d have to say my first night in Japan was a very pleasant one thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the Japanese people I had made contact with on my first day. Yes, there was a mild culture shock but my exuberance about actually being in Japan far outweighed any negative feelings I initially had and I would have to say I adjusted very well after that.


PART 2: Vocabulary


culture shock: the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life or set of attitudes.

exuberance: the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness; ebullience.

homesickness: the feeling of being uncomfortable and anxious about being in a new unfamiliar place.

hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

inn: small hotel that usually also provides food and drink.

maze: an area in which you can get easily lost because there are so many similar streets or passages


customary: according to the customs or usual practices associated with a particular society, place, or set of circumstances.

insulting: disrespectful or scornfully abusive

gleeful: really happy

homesick: a person who feels anxious and uncomfortable about being away from their familiar surroundings, especially when travelling abroad to a new culture.

hospitable: friendly and welcoming to strangers or guests.

spotless: absolutely clean or pure; immaculate.


adjust: to change or modify

Anticipate: ( something ) regard as probable; expect or predict.

await: (of a person) wait for (an event).

blur: to make or become unclear or less distinct.

insult: ( someone ) speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.

overwhelmed ( by something ): To be mentally defeated or crushed by a situation.

lug: carry or drag (a heavy or bulky object) with great effort.


gleefully: exuberantly or triumphantly joyful.

spotlessly: perfectly clean, ultraclean, pristine, immaculate, shining, shiny, gleaming, spick and span


a change is as good as a holiday: you can get as much good from changing the work you do as from having a rest.

mouth-watering: smelling, looking, or sounding delicious

time for a change: an expression announcing a decision to make a change.


PART 3: Questions and Ideas

Let’s talk about being away from home

Why do you think being away from home is stressful for many people?

– homesickness

– unfamiliar with their environment

– don’t have access to things such as their computers

What kinds of things can people do to reduce the stress of being away from home?

– keep in touch with friends and family on social media

– plan their trip carefully so they know what shops and facilities will be in their area

– make friends with people in their new area

Do you think most people prefer to stay home all the time?

– YES, because they are in their comfort zone and have access to all the comforts of their home such as computers and TVs

– YES, because all their friends and family are nearby

– NO, as it’s exciting to be in a new environment and people get bored if they stay home all the time

– NO, as many people like to visit their friends and family they live in distant places


Let’s move on to talk about leaving home for work or study

What are the benefits of moving to another country for work or study?

– opportunity to find better career/study opportunities

– chance to experience different cultures, which makes life more interesting

– learn a new language to help one’s career prospects

What are the drawbacks of moving to another country for work or study?

– It’s expensive to have to move abroad and establish a new residence

– have to create a new social network

– miss things happening back home such as weddings and other parties

Do you think more people in the future will work permanently in another country?

-YES, because due to the globalising world people will have much wider opportunities if they also consider moving abroad.

-YES, many people will be forced to due to the requirements of their companies as they expand overseas.

-NO, because technology is enabling people to work online and taking away the need for people to physically move overseas for work

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