A family stay is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture, and definitely the best way to truly experience language and culture. For students (and their parents!) it sometimes includes apprehension as well. Be assured that the value of the experience is well worth it. Most students say on their evaluations that it was the best part!
Our preparation resources provide a wealth of information to equip students for a rewarding adventure.
- The Student Guidebook includes information about the role of the family-stay coordinators abroad, adapting to the host family (each family is unique, just as your own family is different from the families of others in your school), daily life, making the most of your stay, gift ideas… (The most important gifts you can bring are an open heart and a mind full of questions!)
- During preparation meetings, teachers will share situational dialogs and useful expressions to practice. Each student will prepare a scrapbook/photo album about his/her life in the U.S. to share with the host family – and will practice sharing it in advance so it will be a fun way to introduce yourself upon arrival.
- L&F’s Language Practice Journal gives students and host families ideas of questions to discuss and a way to keep notes of new words and expressions learned.
An entire team works together to help make the family stay a success: the family-stay coordinator abroad, the host family, your L&F coordinator, your teacher/leader, and YOU! Read more…
Host family placement information usually comes 1-3 weeks before departure. Some placements may come later. Matches are based on interests and needs of both host families and students. Most families will have teenagers; some may have younger children (especially if the stay is during exam time). Girls may be hosted by boys; boys may be hosted by girls. The family stay is a family experience, and host families look forward to welcoming a student who is interested in learning about life in their country.
Contact your host family as soon as you learn about them. Check spam/junk folders for emails. Make sure your photos on social media sites create a good first impression. Write an actual letter or postcard to your host family.
Parents: Be sure to contact the host parent/s and thank them for hosting your child.
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