Host Families: FAQ’S

We can’t host the whole time. Can we host for a shorter time?

Hosting for a shorter amount of time than what the program runs is a possibility as long as you will be able to host for 1/2 of the time or more. Since every family’s situation is different and there are students with different needs, please contact us about what days you cannot host and we will work something out!

Do we have to work at home or have time-off to be a host family?

No. Many host families have had wonderful experiences even while working full-time. The most important thing is that the student is not left alone for long periods of time. He/she should have some kind of schedule/activities and someone to be with for the days that you are at work. Tell us about your schedule and we can give you some ideas to make it work for the student and for your family!

We don’t have kids the same age as the participants. Can we still host?

Yes, you can. The majority of the families that host do have a son/daughter the same age as the student but it is not required. We do, however ask that the student have regular contact (3 or more times a week) with another adolescent his/her age. It can be a niece or nephew, grandchild or neighbor. Just be sure that the schedule is agreed upon ahead of time.

 

We don’t know the participants native language. Can we still host?

Yes! For the American Summer participants, it is best if the host family does not speak Spanish. In fact, the language you speak at home MUST be English. This forces the students from Spain to be immersed in the language and really improve their communication skills.

For the Spanish Summer participants, the Spanish host families are not required to speak English. However, if the American student does not know Spanish or has a very low level, we will take that into consideration when matching the students with the host families and make sure that one member of the family speaks English.

Our son or daughter is going to a camp. Can the student go too?

Yes! Camps are a great experience for students. Please be sure to let us know as far in advance as possible what kind of camp it is, how much it costs and if any special applications need to be filled out in order to participate. This is an excellent way for the student to meet new people and have a very unique experience!

I am a single-parent. Can I still host?

Of course! We have had great single-parent families as past host families.

Can we go out-of-town during the time the student is here?

Yes! A family vacation or road-trip is a great way to show your student more of your beautiful state/country. Before leaving home, you MUST contact us to let us know where you will be, when you are coming back and how we can reach you in case of emergency. For American Summer host families: It is NOT allowed to take your Spanish student out of the country. For Spanish Summer host families: It is okay to take your American student out of Spain but you must have a letter of permission previously signed by the student’s parents. We have examples of what is acceptable if needed.

Our son/daughter works during the summer. Can we still host?

Yes! In the past, many students have been able to go to work with the host brother or sister. This has always been a great experience and, in some cases, a real eye-opener! They don’t need to attend work everyday with the host brother/sister but to experience working in another country will surely be a memorable experience for all! If the job will absolutely not allow the student to got to work with the host brother or sister, please have some other arrangement for the student as we don’t want him/her to be alone for long periods of time.

Are there group activities/classes that the students must attend?

No. The objective it to have the student immersed in the language and the culture of the country they are in. Getting together with your fellow countrymen can take away from your experience. Also, it is too much to ask busy families to be taking the students here and dropping them of there. At the end of the stay, we organize a small farewell picnic for the host families and students to get together before they leave to go home. However, attendance is not required. If you have other plans, don’t worry!

We would like to host but we can’t afford it. What can we do?

As a host family, we ask that you provide your student with three meals a day and a separate bed. Anything apart from that, the students are prepared to pay for; i.e. shopping, souvenirs, activities. With this in mind, your costs as a host family should be minimal. Nonetheless, we know that money can be a touchy subject. Therefore, each host family is given a small amount of money to help with the costs of hosting. The money can be used for special activities done as a family, and they would like to pay the way of the student, or to pay for part of a special meal that is eaten out. This is not a large amount of money, and it is up to the host family to decide the best way to use it as each situation is different. If you would like to host but hosting will mean spending  extra on hotel rooms on a trip or some other significant amount of money, please contact us and we can talk about your specific situation.

What happens if they get sick or hurt while here?

The students will all have health insurance while staying with you. If it is an emergency, please take them to get immediate attention and call us when you can. If it is not an emergency, please call us first as we may be able to direct you to a preferred clinic or doctor’s office in your area. You will not be asked to travel an unreasonable distance to seek care for your student.

Who do I contact if there is a problem?

When you are accepted as a host family, the individual that did your home visit will give you the contact information you need in order to get in touch with her anytime throughout the stay, 24 hours a day. No problem is too small nor question too insignificant. Please feel free to contact us via email or phone anytime before, during or after the program.

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