If you want to learn a second language, whatever it is, a learning vacation is certainly an option to consider.
Depending on your needs and financial possibilities, you can choose to spend your holiday in a college or with a family.
As you can well imagine, the majority of students choose to stay with local families, but this decision is not always dictated by economic reasons only.
In fact, many people know that when you enter college, you will interact with students and that their contacts with native speakers will be limited to the classroom. In other words, although many of these schools advertise their immersion courses, none of them can guarantee such a service.
This is exactly one of the reasons why the number of English host family applications has grown exponentially in recent years.
If you, like many others, want to improve your level of English speaking, a family will certainly help you familiarize yourself with not only the language but also with the culture, habits, customs and way of life typical of the United Kingdom .
Before you dive headlong into the search for a host family, you are advised to read the following and make your own rules, in order to avoid unpleasant situations.
First, know that not all the ads you see online are genuine. In fact, many ads in which fraudsters pose as the British families willing to host foreign students, requiring them to pay a certain sum of money through Western Union or other means not involving the sharing of personal data by the recipient.
And if the “host family” begins to pressure you for payment, you’d definitely better to step back and report this to the website where you found the ad.
Do not be discouraged by this, but rather, use this information to your advantage, so you’ll know what to do if you were to run into a possible scam.
The best way to search for families willing to host you in their house and use of dedicated websites, which is operated by the companies specialized in organizing study trips in the family. The reason is very simple: these companies have very strict criteria and carry out checks on families to ensure an adequate living for all students. If a family does not meet those criteria, the agency will refuse to put you in contact with potential guests – if it is a reputable agency – always speak to someone who has used the agency and don’t rely on fancy marketing alone.
In addition, relying on a specialized website, you will be sure not to pay an excessive price for your stay and if you have any special needs, you can communicate so that the agency is dedicated to finding a family that takes into account your needs (for example, students smoking).
There is, finally, one last thing to consider. Everyone has his own lifestyle, which may be more or less compatible with that of yours; but living under the same roof with people completely different from you for five weeks could result in a holiday nightmare. If you do not wish to be hosted by a religious family, for example, you’d better specify it at the beginning.
So, when your agency proposes several options; ask questions about the families:
Do they have pets? If yes, how many? Do they have children? Do they want you to do baby-sit their children? Their culinary preferences? Are they vegetarians? Do they have a particular focus? Do they live out of town? Have they hosted other students in the past and if so, can you get in touch with these students?
Follow these simple tips and your learning vacation with a host family will be a positive and memorable.