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Manners and courtesy

Good manners are vital at every stage and they can open doors. It is important to be honest and ask questions about topics that interest you but remember to be polite and respectful so as not to offend others.

If after getting to know a family and you decide that you do not 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 Via Families community is diverse and is made up of many personalities, values, traditions and cultures. 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 is better to let them know straight away, otherwise they won’t know that they are doing anything wrong. It’s always best not to judge people and to respect them so both of you can enjoy the experience fully.

Respect from both sides is key. Perhaps certain things won’t be to your taste; however, if you agree on the ground rules, then staying together won’t be an issue.



Deceit and half-truths never help anybody. Given that each and every one of us are 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 than feeling deceived.



Searching for families, getting to know them and inviting a guest to your home all requires a significant commitment, 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



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

  • How are they feeling?
  • Are they worried?
  • Do they need anything?
  • What might they perceive differently to me?
Know their expectations and what they expect from you so that everything is simple and comfortable.

Commitment and responsibility are the most important parts of all this exchange and what your friendship will be based on.

For example, if you have a child as a guest, put yourself in the shoes of their parents, thinking that they leave us with the person who is most valuable to them, and not forgetting them, making them participate in your child's experience or events that happen.

If you have a college student, both and the student will want more freedom. Marking rules of coexistence and certain hours a week or day to speak to you will be a good recipe for both.

We recommend that you prepare a gift for the host family as it demonstrates thoughtfulness and kindness. A book about your country is always a nice idea.