Host Family ; why are they so different?
A "typical" host family with 2 lovely children: that could be what comes to mind when thinking about what a host family is. However, it exists various types of host "families", generally depending on which kind of program abroad you're taking part in. This is a crucial factor to take into account when choosing your language course program.
- On the one hand, host families participating in the Junior Homestay program welcome a teenager like a new member of their family so that interaction is intensive. They supervise the student and immerse him in their family and daily life. The family is really eagger to share a lot with the student and learn from his culture too, even if level of integration in the host family life still depends on each host family of course.
They can either be a family with children or retired people. In this kind of homestay program, the student does not attend any language course, it's a pure immersion program generally for juniors during summer holidays.
- On the other hand, host families hosting students attending a Language school program offer room and board, it is a mere type of accommodation. Students of this language school program are usually young adults and must be quite autonomous, since this kind of host family is not asked to organize activities for and with the student. Students organize then their leisure time freely, go to school to attend language courses and participate in optional activities. They go back "home" to have a rest, to study, to have their meals and to sleep...
In this kind of program, students usually do not spend so much time in the host family during the day and prefer staying with their schoolmates or visit the town.
In opposition to host families for homestay programs, there might be no intensive interaction with the members of the host family and it may mainly deals with daily issues and daily conversation. These host families can either be a family with or without children, a single-parent family, retired people, a woman living alone...
Now that you know the main differences between host families hosting students for Junior Homestay programs and host families for Language school programs, you're ready to go abroad!