All that you need to know before being a host family in Aberdeenshire.
If you’ve never hosted an overseas student before, you may be wondering what’s involved. This blog aims to outline common questions asked so that you feel comfortable right from the start.
Why do overseas students come to Aberdeenshire?
The students are on school trips to learn about the language and culture of Scotland and speak English whilst staying with local host families.
What do the students get up to in the daytime?
The students are accompanied by their school teachers and visit places of interest such as castles, museums, nature reserves and historic points of interest.
What do students need whilst staying with us?
Students need a clean, safe environment. An individual bed is required for each student although students can share a room. Students also need access to a shower daily.
Do students need x3 meals a day?
Yes, students need a continental breakfast (cereals, toast, fruit), a packed lunch with a drink and a two-course family meal in the evening.
What about our house rules?
Please treat your students like members of your family. Explain as best you can your house rules – how to work the shower, where to put their coats when they come in, no phones at dinner time etc.
Do we need to speak their language?
No, students come to practise their English and although some students are far from fluent, there is much fun to be had in making yourself understood. Hint…gestures work well! If your children are learning the language of the student, they can have a go at speaking French, Spanish etc so it benefits both your children and the students.
What if the student falls ill?
The local rep is available 24/7 and meets the group in the morning and evenings at the pick-up point. You can speak to the rep or the accompanying teachers so you feel supported.
Do I need to drop the students off?
Yes, your students need dropping off and collecting daily at a local pick-up point at 8am and 7pm. Each family is sent a detailed programme so that they know when and where to drop your students. We love being organised so you know exactly what you are doing.
Will I get to know other host families?
We have a friendly and experienced network of host families. A WhatsApp group is set up when the students arrive so hosts can ask questions and feel supported. We also organise events for host families annually such as cream teas and visits to The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen.
Do we receive payment for hosting?
Yes, hosts receive payment to cover transport, food, bills with extra leftover. Payment is made at the beginning of the stay by online transfer. You can host up to x4 students per stay which enables you to earn more. It’s a great way to supplement your income.
We are not a ‘traditional’ family so will we qualify?
All families are welcome including families with young children, retired couples, empty nesters and single women. What’s important is a warm and welcoming approach.
What other benefits are there to hosting?
As a host family, you enable a student to come and enjoy the delights of Scotland. This is your chance to be an ambassador for Scotland, to share its language, history and culture. You’ll also gain insights into your student’s home country which is fun and educational for all the family.
Many of our hosts get invited back to the student’s home country forging lasting friendships. This is a cultural exchange at its best.
Any additional perks to hosting?
Want to learn a language yourself? We provide free French lessons for local host families. This is not a prerequisite to hosting but just something that’s open to you if so desired. We love to promote language learning!
How do I apply?
If you are interested in making a difference and becoming a host family, please contact Clare on 01561 378218 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message via www.facebook.com/languagetraveltours.
Many thanks and talk to you soon, Clare.