Hosting language exchange students has grown in popularity over recent years. As more people learn about these exchange programmes, questions arise about how they work, how much they could cost and what will be expected of them if they choose to participate. Every hosting experience will be different. Different hosts with different kids. Some families will be large and some small with different facilities, rules and customs. But this is part of what makes it so fun to keep doing! No two experiences are the same and the more times you host the more your mind will be opened to different cultures and people. Here we run you through what a typical day will look like, as a host family for an English language exchange student.
As a host you will need to have a spare bedroom to offer, as well as access to a bathroom where your guest can wash and get ready. Potential guests may vary in age, nationality and gender. We try to pair families with students based on the ages of their children and who could make a good suiting. You will also get a choice in some of these factors. On a typical day you will wake up, get ready and prepare breakfast for your family and your guest. You will not be required to make anything fancy, some cereal or toast with spreads will suffice to get your guest ready for the day ahead. You will also be asked to offer a packed lunch which they can bring to school with them.
After this they will set off to go to attend their lessons. Depending on the age of your language exchange guest, they can either make their own way to their school or you may need to offer them a lift or help them travel there. Here they will spend the day immersing into a real Irish school, joining in with the lessons and meeting other exchange students as well as Irish natives. During this time you can go about your day and go to work as normal.
At the end of the day your guest will come home from school and usually have some homework or English revision to work on before dinner time. Usually they will finish school at around 4pm depending on where they attend. As a host you will be required to cook dinner for them each night however on weekends this can be flexible depending on what you agree with them.
After dinner you can spend the rest of the evening relaxing. Students may make plans or have organized activities in the evenings however they will be expected to come home for a curfew. Otherwise they will stay in and spend time with your family. Here you can chat, share stories, watch tv or play games, it’s up to you! The more time you spend with your student guest the more you will all get out of the experience so plan some evening activities that will get everyone communicating and getting to know eachother better.