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ViaFamilies is a social network based on trust, honesty and the will to help other members in exchange for their help, a favour for a favour.

We want to share some advice to help get to know the families you’re contacting.


- Manners and courtesy

Manners open every door.  It is important to be honest and ask questions about topics that interest you, but remember to be polite and not to offend sensibilities.

If after getting to know a family, you decide that you don’t want to keep talking; then be courteous, say thank you and indicate that it was a pleasure to meet them.

You never know, being polite could allow you to meet other members who are of more interest to you.


- Mutual respect

The ViaFamilies community is a diverse one, and is made up of many cultures, personalities, values, habits and customs.

We value this diversity, as it is what enriches us, therefore respecting it is key to a good understanding and the successful development of any exchange.

If you are unhappy at any point while the guest is with you, let them know politely, it’s better to let them know straight away, otherwise they won’t  know they’re doing anything wrong. It’s always best not to judge people and to respect them so both of you can enjoy the exchange fully.

Maybe somethings won’t be to your taste, however if you agree on the ground rules then staying together won’t be an issue, respect from both sides is key.


 - Honesty

Deceit and half-truths never help anybody. Given that each of us is different, there is no need to lie about ourselves to make people like us.

Honesty is the best way to make sure that everything goes well from the beginning. Especially as there is no worse feeling that being deceived.


- Compromise

Searching for families, getting to know them and inviting a guest to your home all require a significant compromise, as these people are counting on your hospitality until the end.

Bear in mind that the other person expects:

  • Attention
  • Safety
  • Politeness
  • Care
  • Bedding
  • Warmth
  • Comfort
  • Understanding
  • Hospitality


- Empathy

Family, adult student, guest or host… whoever they are, you should always put yourself in their shoes. 

  • How are they feeling?
  • What are they worried about?
  • What do they need?
  • What could they perceive differently to me?

Tell them about your hopes and expectations and viceversa to make sure you get the most out of your exchange.

Compromise and responsibility are the most important parts of any exchange, and is what your friendship will be built from.