Becoming a Host Family
A host family is a vital part of the cultural exchange, immersing the student in a variety of activities while in the host country. The host family plays a large role in offering the student a view of another country and gains the opportunity to learn about a new culture from a young leader. The following information will help prepare host families willing to explore the challenge of welcoming a student into their home for a meaningful exchange.
Hosting is a tremendous experience in which you can share in a young person’s hopes and dreams and develop a lifelong connection with a student and family from another country. It can be challenging to help a young person transition to a new culture and ease into the surroundings but the rewards are immeasurable. Host families in the Youth Exchange program come in all shapes and sizes. They can be Rotarians or non-Rotarians, and may include young children, older children, or no children at all.
What is expected of a host family?
Before the student arrives
Participate in training and orientation sessions offered by the club or district.
Establish communication with the student.
Understand the program rules that the student must follow.
Know how to contact key Rotarians involved in Youth Exchange and community services in case of an emergency
During the exchange
Provide a safe and welcoming environment for trust and friendship to develop between the student and your family.
Support and make the student feel like a part of the family, with the same privileges and obligations.
Gently encourage the student to learn and adopt most of the ways of your household.
Exercise supervisory and parental responsibility to ensure the student’s well being.
Encourage involvement in community life by introducing the student to neighbors, friends, and local groups.
Teach the student about the local culture, and learn about the student’s culture.
Advise the student about matters related to school, family, community functions, and friendship.
How long will the student be living with my family?
Most long-term exchange students live with two or three host families during their exchange. This means the student may live with you for anywhere between three and six months.
Are host families paid?
No. Rotary states it is not permissible to provide any form of compensation to a host family. Host families are volunteers.
We’re always looking for volunteer host families in Long Island. You can make a lasting difference in the life of a student and yours by becoming a host parent. Get in contact today!