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BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER

BEFORE, DURING AFTER YOUR TRIP

 

 

 

  • BEFORE your departure

Start your search with plenty of time to spare. Contact several families at a time, asking each one the same questions, this way it will be easier to choose between them when the time comes.

Once you have chosen a family and they have also shown interest, try to make friends with them, just as though you were getting to know someone you’d just been introduced to.

After a while, try arranging a video call on Skype. Discuss experiences, opinions on topics that are important to you (any special needs or interests, values, education, house rules, religion, diet, health, sport etc…).

The more honest you are, the more they will trust you, allowing the relationship to develop.

 

Good manners are vital at every stage:

  • Bear in mind the customs they do differently to yours.

  • Important topics such as diet, schedules, cleaning and traditions should be discusssed if they could cause problems.

  • Medical insurance, accidents

  • Share emergency contact numbers in case anything happens.

  • Airport collections, transport, additional costs

  • Prepare a gift for the host family. A book about your country is always a nice detail.

  • Treat them as you would like to be treated

  • It’s important that the children get to know each other, talk about what they like and don’t like, their hobbies etc..

  • Discuss your itinerary before the guest arrives: places of special interest, small trips, parties, celebrations. This way they can prepare and pack accordingly.

  • Talk about money: what you pay for and what you don’t. Our advice is that the host should cover everything, unless it is some special activity or expense. However be sure to discuss it beforehand. 

  • Talk about day-to-day things like cleaning, tidiness, meals, rules and timings. Offer to help with everything you can.

  • Find out what the family’s plans are for the time while your child is with them. For example, whether or not the family will be at home with your child during the day, as if not, perhaps finding an arts or languages course or sports day would be of interest. If this is the case, the parents of the guest should cover the expense.

 

  • DURING the stay abroad

As parents we are used to teaching our children in our own ways, however now somebody else will be looking after them. If you got to know each other well, were honest and Spike about the important topics , then you shouldn’t have any trouble here. However, bear the following in mind:

  • Take photos of the arrival and every chance you get. Sending photos to the parents is a great way of calming their nerves.

  • Try not to talk to your child every day, discuss what times are best to call for the parents to avoid disruption. The less you contact them the easier it will be for your child to settle in.

  • It´s not easy to welcome a new member to the family, remember to be patient towards the guest and the family.

  • Try and treat the guest like another member of the family, with chores, responsibilities and rights.

  • Your child should make the effort to integrate themselves and join in with the host family.

  • Your child shouldn’t isolate themself with phones or tablets as it can be perceived as rude.

  • Try and eat together as a family and speak to the guest, explain your plans while they’re there etc.

  • The guest should be invited to everything the family goes to, as they should be treated as another member of the family. If this is not the case then you should discuss it before they arrive.

  • When there are other students in the house around the same age, it is normal that at times they might feel tired or jealous, it might just be that they’ve spent too much time together.

 

  • AFTER

You should try and remain in contact, however little, with every family you exchange with. It’s great being able to travel somewhere knowing that you have good friends in the country.

Invite them to your country, chat to them and let them know they can count on you. Maintaining friendships with families like your own around the world allows your children to build  their own long-lasting bonds that will stay with them for life.