The biggest point for a successful exchange year is definitely the host family. With the host family the students will spend their whole year they will be a part of their family and become a part of the daily life with all responsibilities as in their usually home. The students have to come along with their new family traditions, with their habits and also with their timetables and rules. Some of the rules would be new for the student when he or she arrive first and some of this rules would be totally unbelievable and most the host family also has to deal with the circumstance of a new family member even if it’s just for a year. Perhaps it’s the first time that they have a teenager in the house. There is no rule how a host family has to be. Single Person can take exchange students also as families with 6 children. It doesn’t matter if the host parents are married or not and even gay couple can be wonderful host parents where the exchange student can spend a wonderful year. Also there is no age barrier for hosting a student from abroad. It could be a little bit strange for the student when your host parents are older than their grandparents at home but age is no problem. All organizations are happy about having good host families for their students. Some organizations paying their host parents but mostly the host parents are volunteering and they are responsible that the student has a home and food.
Host families the II
But how does the organization can find exactly the perfect family for their student. The first thing for families who want to take a host students for a year or half a year is they have to write an application form to an organization such as the exchange student. On this application forms the families have to write how many family members what are their interests, if they had exchange students before, their expectation about an exchange student, any pets, if they are going to church or if they smoke and a lot of other things. Then they can send their forms in. Now it’s the organizations turn. They have to check if the family would be able and good for a host student. Most times they send out a representative to go to the families. These representative have to make an interview with the whole family to see if they are really willing to take an exchange student and if they have enough room. Which doesn’t mean that the exchange student needs to have his or her own room. Some of the host families especially in Canada and the USA are really spontaneous to decide if they want to take an exchange students or not that’s why some exchange students have to wait really long sometimes they are going to welcome families first and after that to their host families. When an organization decided to take a family in to their program they send them information about the students they recommend them. Then the family has to decide which of their recommends they want to host. After that they’re getting more information about their student and also about the students home country. The next step is waiting until the student arrive.Fears for host families
If a family decides for themselves that they want to host a student it’s a big step. And not only are the students scared. Host families have mainly one reason why they are feared and that’s the question ‘what if the student doesn’t fit into the family?’. There are different reasons and different foibles why a student couldn’t fit in. Perhaps the family is really religious and wants to continue with their for example every day church service and expect that the student is coming with them but the student doesn’t want to. That would cause trouble. What if the new student is not willing to do anything?! He/she doesn’t want to go with the family on trips and as soon as the student is home from school, he or she is going to his or her room. But one of the three biggest fears is that they can’t communicate with the student. Either if it’s a language problem or just a problem that the student doesn’t want to talk. And an other main one is that the family is just not coming along with the student. Perhaps the family is not used to have a teenager in their house and they didn’t see the process of growing up and don’t know the person and how to act with the new kid. If a host family has kids it is an other type of fear. Tara who’s family is hosting a student right now said that she was scared that their student would be boring and that she can’t do anything with him. Most times this fear is changing into excitement that the student should arrive and families would be never without fears for such a big step. But it is worth for the new culture and the new person the family gets to know while the year even if it’s not always sunshine and easy.