Here are some suggestions from Swap Family to help you with having a successful exchange and help you have a great experience.
Communication throughout the exchange process:
- Stay in touch with the friendly family during the time before the exchange. This will help you get to know each other and make the first physical encounter easier and closer. It will also assist you inbeing up to date with all the issues relevant to the other family. Using all the communication tools you have at your fingertips will help you!
- Maintain contact between families during the exchange experience. It is important to have a trustworthy and intimate space in which both families can contact, talk, and share to gain security and tranquillity. Call, take photos, record videos, and share them with the other family; share the evolution and status of the guest.
- Ensure that both families have all the relevant information about the exchange. It is very important that the host family has all the necessary medical information (such as allergies, health problems, medical treatments, dental appliances, glasses, and contact lenses); specific dietary needs and every other aspect must be considered (such as habits, customs, and needs). We recommend leaving it in writing through the agreement model between families.
Be a good host for the exchange:
- Organize the reception of the new member. Giving them a special welcome.
- Accommodate them by showing them their room and helping them settle down.
- Include them in family activities. They will be part of the family during their stay, and we have to make them feel really at home.
- Treat them as if they were another member of the family. Introduce them to the same requirements and expectations as with the other members (same rules, hours of entry and exit, and roles to be played). Moreover, you must provide them the same accessibility as the other members (sharing problems or concerns, being interested in their feelings and opinions, etc.).
- Invite them to share their culture. Ask questions and show interest in their culture, country, and customs. However, the goal is for them to go into your own advantage so that it also shows their advantage.
- Ensure their well-being and support them at all times. Be open and help them express everything they feel. Build a relationship based on trust and accessibility, as you would do with the rest of the family members, considering that they are living a new situation.
- Be patient and encouraging when trying to communicate. Help and accompany the speech. Strive to understand them. Do not interrupt or correct them if they don’t ask for it.
- Be natural and authentic. A good host family does not need to be the perfect and model family but to be itself. Behaving naturally will help the guest to integrate better.
Be a great guest:
- Contract a personal insurance with an authorized agency. that covers transportation, medical expenses, medical repatriation, loss or theft of personal effects and other incidents that may occur during the trip and stay.
- Delve into the reality of the foreign country to which you are going to move. Have a previous idea of what are the customs and traditions there.
- Prepare the suitcase making sure that it includes enough clothes and that it suits the weather and the season.
- Includes (if deemed appropriate) the pocket money necessary to cover personal expenses and get informed about the current exchange rate.
- Travel with the intention of enjoying the experience to the fullest.
- It is important to immerse yourself fully in the new culture to learn and learn new things. Get carried away accepting all new experiences, although some will be very different from yours.
- Dare to share your culture with the host family. Open to them so they know you.
- Communicate in the language you have gone to learn. Even if you are wrong, you will surely be understood and this is the best way to learn. Ask to be corrected and to help you improve.
- Follow the rules of the host family as if they were dictated by your own family. Although at first they seem different or strange.
- Let the communication flow. Talk to them and ask everything you need to ask. If you do not understand something, ask them to repeat it and do not feel bad about it. When you have any questions about something you have done, ask to know what they think about it.
- Enjoy time with family and its members. Participating from day to day, interacting with them and integrating you into your new home.
- Disfrutar del tiempo con la familia y sus miembros. Participando del día a día, interactuando con ellos e integrándose en su nuevo hogar.
Don’t wait any longer, start enjoying your future exchange experience!