- BASICS: Host families provide room, board (three meals daily), and warm hospitality. If your family eats out, you would also pay for the student’s meals, but students have spending money for snacks and meals out with their peers.
- ROOMING: Students must have their own bed in a non-common area (must have a door for privacy). Students may share a bedroom with a child of the same gender, of a similar age.
- FAMILY COMMITMENT: All members of host family must be willing to include their visitor as a family member, with the same expectations as for the other children in the home. It is especially important that the children in the host family be ready to welcome a visitor who will be dependent on them for companionship and inclusion in activities and social circles.
What surprised our family most about hosting was how normal it felt to have another child in the home, the routine was nearly the same as it would be with our two children; it was very simple.
My daughter’s host family is absolutely perfect and I am getting tearful thinking how grateful I am that she was matched with such a good family!
Our family benefited in so many ways: trying something out of our comfort zone; patience with talking and explaining things slower; not taking our blessings for granted; and most of all, teaching us that a family “loves” the same in all languages!
Exposing our kids to this experience and friendship has changed them and will affect them for their lifetime.
Our family benefited by learning about another country and realizing that there is more to the world than just the U.S.!
We will never be the same; she is truly PART of our family, our French daughter/sister...we fell in love with her and she with us - it was the most rewarding thing ever!
Our kids learned a lot about European life without traveling. They learned how to teach and employ language and show hospitality to a foreigner.
Our family benefited by forming a friendship with a wonderful girl from France, enjoying simple things like hiking.
It was a learning experience for everyone. My family not only gained a friendship, but also gained a close family member. It was amazing!
We learned as much about ourselves as did about the student. This was an excellent learning experience.
We learned a lot on so many different levels. It was a fabulous experience! :)
It opened our eyes to a different culture. We all learned a few things and had a great time!
It helped our kids see our community from a different perspective. We learned a lot about a country and culture we didn't know much about before.
- PRE-PLANNING: Host family make-up varies greatly; single parents, working parents, host children working, time split between two households, etc. – all can make wonderful host families. Regardless of the composition of the host family, we do recommend planning out the time during the visit so that your student will know what to expect before arrival. This can also be helpful for the host family to determine times/dates that might be especially busy and plan ahead for help from another neighboring family to spend time with the visiting student. For shared household visits, knowing which parent’s house they might be staying at can make the visitor’s adjustment easier and will avoid confusion.