IELTS: People Visiting Your Home, Long-Distance-Travel, Meeting People, Adapting to Culture, Traditions,

These IELTS speaking test questions were asked this week: topics include long-distance travel, visistors, meeting people, adapting to culture.


Where do you stay?

I live with my family in one of the popular neighborhoods in the south of the city. It’s not far from here actually.

How far is it from the test center?

I would guess it’s only about 5 miles or so, it’s only a short trip by car or taxi. It takes a bit longer by bus, though.

Is where you stay a good place to live?

Most people think so. It’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.

It’s quite recently developed, I think about 5 years ago, so most of the houses are new, or quite new.

The area is nice and quiet, safe, and has a lot of greenery, so it makes a nice change from the cityscape.

Although it’s just a few minutes outside the city. It has a much more relaxed atmosphere to it.

It’s very popular with young families especially because it’s close to many of the best schools in the city.

Have you traveled a long distance?

Yes. Several times. By train, car, and a couple of time by plane.

Just last year I flew to Europe to study for a semester in Spain. It was great, although it was one of the longest flights I’ve ever done – transatlantic.

I once went with some friends on a train journey which lasted three days. It was so long we actually slept on the train.

We went right across the country - from the south to the north and saw loads of amazing things we had never seen before except on TV programs.

A few years ago, we also hired a car and drove across Mexico which was super exciting.

We literally spent about 5 weeks driving to various places in different parts of the country and exploring all the sights and attractions.

It was probably the best vacation I’ve ever had. A once in a lifetime experience.

It took a lot of planning and we had to save up quite a lot money for gas and accommodation and so on, but it was totally worth it.

Do you like traveling long distances?

It depends, flying is not so interesting because there’s little to see, and if it’s more than 10 hours on a plane you can quickly get bored just listening to music or watching movies.

On a bus, train or in a car it’s different because you can just spend hours looking out the window and watching all the amazing scenery rolling past.

There’s always something interesting to see, and the landscape always changes.

Are you planning any long-distance travel in the near future?

If I manage to get the score I need in IELTS, then next year my plan is to move to Australia and work there.

So, that will be the longest trip I will ever have done.

Would you like to travel to space?

Sure, why not. I think it would be interesting to experience it. But it’s not something I would spend a lot of money on.

There are more important things in life at the moment. I don’t think space travel will be like buying a ticket for an airplane in my lifetime.

I’d prefer to spend my money on buying a house or maybe starting a business.

But if I was offered the chance to go for free, then sure, I’d jump at the chance.

Maybe in the future, it will be just as cheap, and everybody will go.


Talk about some visitors who came to your home recently.

You should say:

  • who they were
  • why they came
  • what you did together
and say how you felt when they visited you.

Recently, a couple of my fellow students from my time in Spain came to visit me at home.

They were on vacation and had asked me previously if it would be okay for them to drop in as they were going to be visiting some places near where I live.

So of course, I said yes. I offered to put them up for as long as they wanted, so they ended up staying for a couple of days.

Luckily, my family has quite a large house and I’m the last child at home. My older brother and sister have already left home, and they are both married with their own families, so we have plenty of spare room at home.

Anyway, when my friends arrived, it was great to see them again. The first night, we went out to a local restaurant for something to eat which gave us a chance to catch up and find out what each other had been doing since we last saw each other.

The following day, we all went out to a local tourist attraction near where we lice. It’s a place high up in the mountains where you can park and see all of the city. The view is amazing!

My parents came with us, and we drove there; it takes about 20 minutes, then we spent some time taking some awesome photos before we had lunch at one of the popular restaurants there.

Later that evening we had a barbeque in our garden and my parents invited some of their friends over too. It was a great night and we all had a lot of fun.

The next day we just spent lounging around and chatting, we didn’t really do anything special because they wanted to just chill and relax before continuing their travels the day after.

I was sad to say goodbye to them the next day, but it was great to see them again after such a long time. I also promised that I would try and visit them before I go to Australia next year. It might be the last chance for a long time before we see each other again.


In your part of the world, how are guests normally welcomed?

It’s different depending on who the guest is. For example, when my friends came to visit, I just welcomed them, gave them a hug and a kiss on the cheek and then showed them to their room so they could unpack and freshen up after traveling all day.

But when one of my uncles or aunts comes to visit, my parents arrange a meal and refreshments for them and it’s all a lot more formal. They make a lot more fuss and gather all their friends to come and meet them.

I suppose offering food and drink is one of the key things, it’s kind of a tradition, and most older people still do it, no matter what time of day guests arrive.

Younger people are a bit more relaxed, they tend not to make such a fuss as their parents do when people visit.

Do you think it is interesting to meet new people?

Yes, that’s one of the things I loved when I was abroad in Spain, meeting people from a different culture and with different habits and customs. It was fascinating.

You can always learn something new, and sometimes very important, when you interact with new people.

Okay, not all people are super interesting, some can be boring, and sometimes it can even be awkward meeting new people.

But in general, it’s fun and interesting and I enjoy meeting new people. After, all that’s how I met my new friends that came to visit me.

Do you think the tradition of people visiting with other people is decreasing? Why is that?

I’m not sure. It might be because many people don’t have so much time. People seem to be busier than they were in the past.

Another reason why people might not make the effort to actually go and visit with others is that it’s just so easy to stay in touch with technology now.

I mean you can chat on your phone or do a video call and not miss out on anything, so the need to go and visit someone in their home is not the same as it was in previous generations.

How can people from other countries help you to settle in when you are visiting them?

From my own experience, when I first began socializing with other students in Spain, they were quick to tell me about local customs and how things were done there.

They actually liked explaining things to me and we used to discuss some of the differences between our cultures. It was interesting for all of us.

Some of the basic stuff is important, like how to greet people, differences between expectations of younger people and older people, for example.

Then there are logistical aspects, like how to get around the city/town or place, use the bus system, taxis, Uber or whatever. Which is best for short distances and long distances.

I remember them telling me about some of the good places to go, and also some of the bad parts of town to stay clear of, so that was all really helpful to know.

How important is it to adapt to the culture of another country when living there?

If you want to fully enjoy the experience and feel like you belong it’s important.

You can try to just do your own thing, but that can mean you spend a lot of time on your own and so might get lonely or feel homesick.

Personally, I just immersed myself in the culture and tried to live like the locals lived. My friends liked that fact that I was willing to try all their local food and other stuff.

They seemed to appreciate the interest I took in their customs and habits.

Is there a need to completely adapt to the culture of the other country or should we draw a boundary? What would be unacceptable?

No, it’s not essential to completely adapt. In fact, it’s almost impossible because you have a certain way of thinking about things based on where you grew up, and how you were educated, where you lived, and the values that your parents taught you.

Those things are difficult to just let go of because you go and live in a new place.

It’s important to try and integrate into the new culture, it makes life much easier, otherwise, you’re going to feel really strange if you keep wanting everything to be like it is back home.

But, for sure, there are some things that you can’t just adapt to fully, maybe the values or religion, for example, they might be just too different for you.

You might need to come to some sort of compromise. Respecting the culture of others but not completely adopting it yourself.

It all depends on where you go and how different it is. In reality, if it’s so strange, you probably won’t end up living there for too long because it will just be uncomfortable.

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