When you are sending your son or daughter to boarding school abroad the school usually require that you have a guardian for your child. The guardian is the in-country point of contact and coordinates and organises various things for the student during their stay. This includes but is not limited to:
- Liaison with the school
- Emergency point of contact
- Identify and selection of a suitable Host family
- Attendance at parent-teacher meetings
- Coordinate all exeat and holiday periods
- All Airport drop-offs or pick-ups
All of these items are very important, however, when a student is going to a foreign country for a year to attend boarding school, getting the right host family for the student is hugely important.
There are numerous exeat weekends and also mid-term and end of term holidays (although many students go home for this period) where the school closes and the student will need to go to the host family or go home. Therefore, having a safe, familiar and comfortable home and host family to stay with during these breaks is crucial to getting the best overall experience of travelling to a foreign country to go to boarding school.
Getting the right host family is not a straightforward process and outlined below are key considerations, listed by importance:
- Having the same host family for the entire school year
- The student will develop a long-lasting relationship and friendship with the host family.
- Going there at the weekend will feel like going home
- If the student is going to a different host family each weekend it can be very unsettling
- A host family with children of similar age and gender
- This will help the student settle in especially early on in the trip.
- They are more likely to play similar games on Xbox, studying similar topics and be familiar with the same social media trends
- A host family with some similar interests
- This can be a great ice breaker to help students settle in quickly.
- Where the student and the host children have different interests it can also be a positive as they learn about new things.
- Having their own room and space to unwind
- During the exeat weekend and holidays, it is a great opportunity to unwind and recharge the batteries. If the student has their own room in the host families home this will give them the space to relax and recharge during the breaks.
- The Student meets the Hostfamily before they start school
- The first few weeks of boarding school can be the most daunting, therefore having met and been introduced to their host family puts the student a ease about their first exeat break from boarding school. Ideally, the introduction would take place by the student visiting the host families home.
- A host family situated near the boarding school
- By the time the exeat weekends and holidays come around the students are exhausted, therefore a short journey to the host family home is preferred.
If you are thinking of sending your child to a boarding school in Ireland contact Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online application form by clicking: online student application