Become a Host Family

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1 A Rewarding Experience For You And Your Family Become a Host Family

2 Become a Host Family InterStudies Contact information Tel +44 (0) Tel +44 (0) Tel +353 (0) Fax +44 (0) Thank you for your interest in hosting for InterStudies This brochure is designed to give you an idea of what we are looking for in an InterStudies host family, and what hosting with InterStudies involves. Our foreign students come to Britain and Ireland to experience the local culture and customs. In order to do this they live as a member of a local family, and attend the local school together with local students. Having an InterStudies student as part of your family for a few months or an academic year is a fantastic opportunity, both for your family, and for the student. It is a chance for you to meet another culture first hand, and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the student to live as a member of your family while gaining insight into a different culture, living a new language, learning a new way of life. Please take the time to read through this information, and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact us. Kind regards InterStudies Overall expectations The overall expectation we have of you as a family is that you provide a welcoming homely environment for our students, and treat your student as a member of your family for the duration of his or her stay with you. The student will join your family to experience life in this country, and we hope that you will take the opportunity to explore your local area with your student. Showing your student around the local sights and points of interest can be a great opportunity for you to rediscover your local community. Your student will expect you to be interested in other cultures, and will be eager to learn about your way of life. Our host families are vital to our programme, and we are delighted that you are considering providing one of our students with a welcoming and caring home. Anette Slot Larsen Managing Director Child Protection At InterStudies we take our responsibility for our students very seriously and we have therefore implemented a child protection policy setting guidelines which all our staff must follow to ensure that our students are protected from harm.

3 Become a Host Family Becoming a Host Family There is no general host family profile, some have younger, or teenage children, who get the chance to have a foreign brother or sister, some are parents whose children have grown up and left home, and some have no children themselves, but enjoy the company of the young. The main requirements for hosting with InterStudies are that you are friendly and open minded, that you are ready to welcome a new family member, and that you have a spare room! In order to apply to become a host family you will need to fill out a host family application form. After you have filled this in and returned it to us, we will ask our local support coordinator to visit you. This will give us a chance to meet you, and give you a chance to meet one of our support coordinators, who will be able to tell you more about the programme. Your local InterStudies coordinator will receive profiles of students, and together you will decide on which student will fit into your family. Before Arrival Your student will be given your contact details when we finalise the placement, and the student will be eager to get in touch with you, so please make sure to reply to letters or s. Many of our students are going abroad for the first time and students as well as their parents will highly appreciate a letter or welcoming them to your home. At First Students react in many different ways when coming to a new country, and living with a new family; many will settle straight in, others will be a little shy at first. The arrival and first impression of the meeting with your family is important for the relationship with your student. Please make your student feel welcome, and during the first few days please show the student around the local area, including how to get to school. School is an important part of the programme. Your student will attend school on the same basis as local students, and have all the same requirements as a local student. The school is likely to contact you before the student arrives to set up a meeting for the student to be introduced to the school. At home you will need to help your student settle in. It is important to introduce your student to the household rules from the beginning, it is much easier for your student to adapt if they know how you expect them to behave. Your local InterStudies support coordinator will be at hand to assist you and your student, throughout the stay. Communication is very important, and we will do our utmost to help you sort out any problems along the way, so please do not hesitate to contact us, however small the issue might seem. Part of The Family Your student will live as a member of your family, this means that they will take a full part in family life. If you and your family visit relatives, or go out for the day, the student should come along as part of the family. At mealtimes your student should be treated as a member of your family, they should eat the same food as you, together with your family. This means that you can also expect your student to act as a member of the family, and although you may have to initiate it your student can be expected to lend a hand when clearing the dinner table, or taking the rubbish out, as a natural part of being a family member.

4 Practical Information Rules and Expectations While the student must, of course, follow and respect your house rules we have set the following suggested curfews: When attending school the following day your student should be home by 10 pm. Weekends/holidays your student should be home preferably by 11 pm, or at midnight at the latest. The standard curfews can be extended in case of a special event at your discretion, providing that this will not result in problems with school attendance. If you are considering extending the above curfews in general, please check with your local InterStudies support coordinator before doing so. When laying down the rules please remember that your student expects to become a family member, so any rules and restrictions you would apply for your own children should be the same for your student, no more no less. Students are expected to attend school, and fulfil all the requirements of the school which they are attending. They must attend all classes, and complete any homework or exams that are part of the courses which they are taking. Only genuine illness should be accepted as a reason for absence. You should encourage your student to speak English, and as much as possible to make friends with the local students rather than other foreign students. Hosting more than two students at the same time or hosting two students of the same nationality or mother tongue is generally not accepted. Should your student bring home a friend of the same nationality please ask them to speak English at all times. Meals Your student will expect full board, but may choose to buy lunch at school rather than take a packed lunch. If your student requires a packed lunch please let them know if you would prefer to make it yourself, or if you would like your student to make it. If the student opts for school lunches it will be at his or her own expense. Accommodation As a general rule your student should have his or her own bedroom. Two students or a student and your own child sharing a room needs approval from head office, and to obtain approval you will need to provide a large room with ample room for private space for both. Your student is expected to study, so a quiet place with a desk or similar will be necessary. So will ample storage space for clothes etc. Overnight Stays and Travelling Your student is allowed to stay out overnight within the local area if you can vouch for the people your student is staying with and it is only for one night, preferably during the weekend. You must make sure that you have the contact details of the people your student is staying with. Your student may be granted permission to travel, but no time whatsoever is to be taken off from school unless approved in advance by the head office, and no travel plans should be finalised before approval has been given. In the event of a student travelling without permission from Head Office, it is very likely that the student will be dismissed from the programme, which would mean immediate return to his or her home country. No student is allowed to travel overnight on his/her own or in the company of other teenagers; an adult must always be present, and we must always have the contact details for the person in charge.

5 Practical Information Insurance Students are advised to take out insurance, including liability insurance, and we suggest that you ask your student about which insurance cover he or she has upon arrival. We also recommend that you check up on your own insurance as neither InterStudies nor our local representatives can be held responsible for any damage caused by a student. In case of any damage we must be informed immediately with details of your claim, and we will then do our best to assist you in collecting the amount from the student. Illness Should your student fall ill and appear to need the attention of a doctor, please do not hesitate to contact your family doctor and at the same time please make sure that you inform us. Telephone Frequent phone calls can cause home sickness. The general policy from InterStudies is that the student should not be in contact with family or friends at home more than 2 to 4 times a month. The student should not use your phone without asking you first, and any charge incurred must be settled between the student and you. Alternatively students may purchase a pre paid phone card, enabling them to phone abroad via an operator without any cost to you. Internet If you have access to the internet the student must respect the general rules of using the internet. We suggest that you set standard rules in order to avoid any misunderstandings. If you have unlimited broadband and wireless connection, please do not allow the student to stay up all night or spend several hours every day on the computer staying in close contact with family and friends from home. Travel arrangements The travel arrangements for arrival and final departure are made by your students parents or by our colleagues in your students home country. You will be expected to meet your student at the airport when they arrive at the start of the programme, and to take them to the airport for their departure. Travel arrangements will always pass through the Head Office, so if you have any special requests or enquiries regarding travel dates/arrival and departure airports, please do not hesitate to contact us. We do not always receive the itinerary as early as we would like, but we strive to ensure that you have the arrival details as early as possible. Likewise we will ask our colleagues abroad to provide return travel details as early as possible, but again it is difficult to say precisely how early we will have the details.

6 Practical Information Problems in general In order to help us maintain our first class organisation we ask you to make sure that any problem which you may encounter, whether in your home or at school, is brought to the immediate attention of your local InterStudies support coordinator Representative or Head Office. We do not permit unruly, rude or unseemly behaviour and in severe cases students may be sent home. Financial compensation You will receive financial compensation for your expenses in connection with hosting a student. It is a fixed amount for the duration of the programme, providing your student stays with you for the agreed length of time. As part of our agreement with you the amount is stated in the Host Family Application Form, which can be obtained from the InterStudies Office or local representative. The payment will be transferred to your bank account in monthly instalments. As the monthly payment will be made to your bank account, please make sure that you give us the correct bank details when filling in your Host Family Application form. You will normally find the money in your account on the last working day of each month at the latest. In case of a student moving out or returning early, the payment will be reduced accordingly. Should a student wish to extend his or her stay, please make sure to refer them to the office as no extra payment will be made unless previously agreed in writing prior to the extension. Any queries about payments should be directed to the office, and we ask you to please refrain from ever discussing payment issues with your student. InterStudies support coordinator Your local InterStudies support coordinator is there to support you and your student. They are therefore your local contact person regarding any issues concerning your student. In case of your local support coordinator being away or if an urgent matter needs to be resolved, please to not hesitate to contact us at the office. We look forward to working with you Once again, thank you for your interest in hosting a student for InterStudies. We hope that this has given you an idea of what hosting a student involves, and that you are still considering to host one of our students. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us. If you wish to apply to be a host family please complete and return a host family application form.

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