Family Stay – The Key Part of an L&F Program
Language & Friendship believes that a family stay is an essential component of an educational program abroad. One can always be a tourist; however, a family stay is a unique opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture in a personal way. Most of our groups stay with host families for 5 to 10 days, and some choose longer stays. Even though the family stay is short, it’s a valuable experience in growth and self-reliance, and a chance to build a friendship that can last a lifetime.
Language & Friendship has been providing travel programs with a family-stay component since 1988. Our success is best reflected in the feedback of students and parents, and especially in the continued commitment of teachers who regularly offer the family stay experience for their students.
Each student has his/her own host family in order to have a more beneficial immersion experience. If two American students were together in a host family, they would likely speak English with each other and would not connect as well with their new family, defeating the purpose of the program. (Additionally, houses and cars are usually not large enough for two additional people). An individual experience allows the student to really practice the language and become part of the family who is also looking forward to creating a new friendship.
The Family-Stay Team
The Family-Stay Coordinator: Language & Friendship is fortunate to have had many years of building strong relationships with dedicated teachers and coordinators abroad who organize the family stays. Like the teachers we work with in the U.S., READ MORE…
The Host Family: Host families volunteer to welcome a student into their homes in recognition of the educational benefit that hosting brings to the whole family. Host families are diverse in ethnicity and socio-economic level, yet alike in their openness and wholeheartedness. Families READ MORE…
The American Student: The success of the family stay depends a lot on the student’s preparation beforehand and the willingness to be open and committed to experiencing a new culture. READ MORE…
The American Teacher: During preparation meetings, teachers cover valuable information to help prepare students for their experience. During the family stay, READ MORE…
The American Parents: Parents can support their child by reviewing the Family Stay section of the Student Guidebook and by reviewing the Communication Expectations together. By encouraging their child to be open to the differences they will encounter and ready to put their best foot forward, READ MORE…
The host family treated me like a true family member and made a strong effort to always make me feel welcome, safe, loved and important.
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!
It was a learning experience for everyone. My family not only gained a friendship, but also gained a close family member. It was amazing!
My host family was so welcoming to me. I loved how willing they were to make communication easier through gestures and simplifying the language.
The best part of the family stay was learning the culture, learning new phrases and vocab, and listening to them speak at a realistic speed!
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!
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!
It really was an unbelievable experience and I think that for some of the students, it was only the first part of a long-term relationship with the people they met and the country itself.