When a match has been finalized you will receive the match packet, which includes the following items:
- Match letter with student contact information
- Preliminary plan for arrival day (date, time of meeting and location – tentative)
- Original student application with pictures and letter to host family
- Copy of Host Family Guidebook (see below for details)
Communication with Your Visitor
Once you receive your match packet, it is time to start communicating! It is important to communicate as much as possible so everyone will feel as comfortable as possible on arrival day. If possible, a mailed card or letter is recommended when the match is first received but after that, e-mail or Facebook is more common. We recommend at least 3 communications before arrival (mailed letter + 2 e-mail exchanges, etc.). We also recommend some communication with the parents of your visitor, too, since they are also nervous about sending their child. Getting to know their child’s host family can help them prepare and feel more comfortable, too.
Host Family Guidebook
Topics covered in this guidebook:
- Welcoming Your Student (Pre-Arrival Contact, Rooming Preparation, Arrival Day, First Few Days)
- Language & Communication (Helpful Tips, Pitfalls to Avoid, Display of Emotion/Appreciation, Greetings, Ideas for Lower-Level/Reluctant Speakers)
- Foods & Meals
- Home Life – Fitting In
- Planning Activities ( Places to Go, Things to Do, Getting the Students Together, Spending Money, Going Out of Town/Vacations)
- A Few Rules
- Communication Expectations (Student Expectations, Host Family Expectations)
- Support During Visit
- Steps for Resolving Issues
- Medical Insurance
Host Family Preparation Meeting
We hold two Host Family Preparation meetings for our local MSP families prior to arrival to help answer any additional questions you may have about hosting. Host families outside the MSP area may attend a meeting organized by their local teacher or may contact our office with any pre-arrival questions. If available in your area, we’ll list these date(s) in your match letter.
Pre-Arrival Mailing (PAM)
About two weeks before the student arrives, you will receive by mail the FINAL details of arrival and departure, including confirmed times and locations, insurance details and important contact information.