Finding a host family to stay with when studying a foreign language abroad can be an extremely daunting and overwhelming task for most people. Students and parents must work together very closely to find the perfect host family who will enhance the learning experience and provide a healthy, supportive and family atmosphere for students of a different nationality.
Staying with a host family in England for example, is an exciting and exhilarating prospect for any student. However, the host family selection process must be well researched and be as thorough as possible. There are many questions to ask and to be answered, and safety, health and dietary aspects should also be considered seriously. The choice of agent or representative from where to source your ideal host family is another important consideration.
Planning ahead is vital in order to have the time to receive satisfactory answers to your questions. For instance, questions to ask should be along the lines of; can the host family provide the home from home support a student needs when studying? Can the student keep in contact with his/her family via the internet and cell phone?
Take into account that staying in contact by phone or Skype might prove to be a little difficult due to time differences. If you are a student from South East Asia and living and studying in England, there is a six or seven hour difference in the time which could pose some problems. A pre-arranged call at weekends is the best way to handle this and by sending emails and posting messages via Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, regular communication should be maintained at all times.
Living with a host family is a positive study option that every English language student should consider. The advantages of staying with a host family are numerous and the up close and personal insight you get into the lifestyle patterns and dialects of the host family’s relatives, friends and neighbours are a goldmine of real life education, information and knowledge that you cannot pick up from a book.
Becoming part of a family in another country can be an unsettling thought, but once you have asked all your questions and received all the verifiable answers from the agent or representative service, excitement and anticipation starts to creep in and suddenly you are looking forward to improving your English language skills with a friendly and welcoming host family. Mixing with native speakers who speak only English will result in a definite improvement in every student’s language skills and the confidence gained from staying with a host family will be reflected in future English language study grades and achievements.
Always remember the importance of asking as many questions as you can at the outset, and as soon as you have an assurance on a shortlist of host families you have selected from the agent or representative, you can choose the area of the country where you want to live and the ideal host family you want to live with.