Communicate with your exchange family. The Swap Family strongly believes in the importance of families talking to each other to express their ideas, doubts, concerns.
This is because the extent to which you know each other and tread beyond the information on your profiles can lead to more compatibility points. And, what’s more, by communicating more, you would be creating a good foundation to have a successful exchange experience.
Therefore, before closing the agreement with a family, we invite and encourage you to talk a lot to each other – communicate.
Use the platform’s messaging system and other systems that allow you to go beyond what is written in the profile. Share your phone number and your Skype ID to call, listen to each other and even see each other on a video call. Communicate with your exchange family to gain trust and enrich your relationship.
And open the communication to all the members involved. If you organize an exchange that involves the whole family, try that everyone is present in the calls, everyone’s doubts are cleared and opinions heard. And if, instead, you are organizing an exchange experience for your child, give him/her the opportunity to interact directly with the other family and with their child. Let them write to each other, see each other… Therefore, give them the opportunity to feel they have things in common, feel that they want to spend time together, feel that they want the day to come
I really want to have an experience with that family! I look forward to seeing you!
There are many questions and concerns to discuss. From Swap Family, we have collected some of the most relevant ones:
Who are you? How are you as a family and as individuals? How and who are the different family members? In number, their ages, if there are animals… Try to know what their values and principles are. Share your hobbies too. How do you understand the children’s education? What pedagogical style do you apply? Go on with other questions like these.
Where do you live? How is the town / city in which you are living? How would you describe it? Is it a neighbourhood you like or not? What are the good and bad things that the area has? How do you move around? What kind of transport do you normally use? What cultural and leisure activities does it offer? How is your home? How do you consider the integration of the new member into it? Follow up with other such questions.
Your daily life. What is your day-to-day life like? What do you usually do? Ask about their schedule and their daily activities. And what about your habits? Ask more!
Your holidays / free time. What do you usually do on the weekend? What are the most typical or usual plans? The most regular plans? And what about your hobbies? And so on.
Social relations. In which social circle do you move? Do you have an active / quiet social life … and so on.
Exchange expectations. What are your expectations regarding the exchange? What is the reason due to which you plan to make this kind of exchange, what would you like to find in this experience? Is this your first experience or have you done exchanges previously? What did you like / didn’t like in the earlier experiences? Are you reluctant about something? What is it?
Exchange plan. How do you imagine the exchange would take place? What can you offer the guest in terms of activities and amenities? How will your day-to-day schedule be? Also, find out if you have considered / would like to do extra activities such as support classes. What expectations do you have, if those imply an extra cost, and how would you like to manage?
Dates / period. What idea do you have regarding dates? What would you prefer the experience’s duration to be? Do you have the dates? Is there flexibility and can you adapt? These are just some aspects to look into.
Transportation / reception. Have you thought about the reception of the guest? For example, if he/her will travel alone / accompanied, if you will pick him/her up at the airport / station. It is important to control all logistics details.
Visits during the stay. Have you thought about doing a visit during the stay? It will be interesting to know in advance how to organize all this. For example, you can consider making a joint plan for few days or not.
Feeding habits. Talk about schedules and eating routines. It is interesting to know what to expect in terms of habits, style and conception, if they follow a certain diet, the type of food in their home. It will also be interesting to know the favourite dishes and if there is any dish to avoid. Take the opportunity to also know if there is any kind of intolerance or allergy etc.
Concrete health needs. Find out if there are any specific needs in terms of health level. Consequently what implications and attention they require. Also find out if they have contracted medical insurance and how do they plan to proceed if there is any need for it and so on.
Family behaviour rules. Important to know what rules of coexistence they have, and what are the responsibilities that each member must assume. It is also important to know what responsibilities the guest will have and so on.
Because in Swap Family you decide how, when and with whom to live an exchange experience, communication is a pillar. Communicate with the families in the community and find your exchange family.