16% of the world population is represented by people aged 15 to 24 years, equivalent to 1.2 billion young people. Facing almost three times more unemployment, to perform low quality jobs or suffer inequality in the job market than an adult.
United Nations hand in hand with Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka, UNESCO and the International Labor Organization, today (June 15) create the world day of youth skills to raise awareness of the importance of investing in education of young people.
The UN estimated the number of young people unemployed worldwide at 74.5 million. 1 in 5 young people (125 million) work but the salary received is very low. Taking into account that the labor situation is more complex and competitive, we must prepare the new generations, developing their skills and providing them with tools.
To succeed in the labor market, good education and training is essential.
What are those skills and / or competences that it is recommended to develop?
In addition to theoretical knowledge, companies look for young people with soft skills, such as: teamwork, collaboration, imagination and leadership.
According to the Global Education and Skills Forum of 2018 (GESF), it recommends developing competencies such as tolerance, empathy, critical thinking and creativity. Complementing them with those mentioned in the Report of “The Future of Jobs of the World Economic Forum” which are problem solving, emotional intelligence, decision making, customer orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility.
At Via Families we promote the education of all the young people of the world. Connecting families internationally to carry out student exchanges between families. See more information, HERE
It seeks that young people can contribute to the company by improving performance and productivity.
“Education will not change the world, change the people who are going to change the world”
– Pablo Freire-
As always, I leave you a video in which Pablo Heinig (electrical engineer and doctoral candidate in Leisure and Development of Human Potential and professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona) proposes a method to think, feel and act according to the people we want to be.
Living abroad means leaving the comfort zone, at the begging it may sound scary and exciting at the same time. The important thing is to try it because it really worth it.
It´s important to keep in mind the changes that your child will live in this incredible experience. It is true that each student will enjoy a different experience depending on the age in which they travel, their character and how independent they are. However, everyone will definitely change.
First he/she is likely to feel vulnerable and afraid, but it is completely normal, as he/she is experiencing a familiar detachment. But as time goes by, he/she will develop and grow both personally and academically.
Some changes that you will notice when he/she return are:
Personality: now he/she will be more open, strong and self-confident. The exchange will help him/her to define the personality and to develop skills
Influence: the level of influence will reduce, this means that it will improve the decision-making, based on the personal benefit (what suits or benefits him/her)
Maturity: obviously the maturity will be evident, living away from the family, helps the person to fend for himself (to be independent). Also to appreciate the family, the house, friends and even the material (everything around him , to the minimum aspect)
Self-knowledge: being “alone”, he/she will go through a stage of personal knowledge, he/she will know how to identify his/her emotions and he/she will learn to control them. In the same way he/she will know his/her limits.
The panorama will be completely open, therefore you will have a child who already has a different language, mature, sociable and with decision-making power, as well as increasing professional value and it is possible that he/she acquired skills that he/she had not acquired in his/her native country.
Due to so many changes, it is likely that there are some frictions or discussions when you are all back together under the same roof, but don´t worry, it is part of the process and you will soon overcome it.
We recommend you to read our post in which we talk about the possible situations when your child returns and how to handle them.
Share with us your experience, what changes do your child had after the exchange?
As always I leave you a video which some students share their experience and talk about some benefits when doing a student exchange
It is not enough to sit, read and underline to study. Help your child to have a more effective study. They are very simple recommendations, that if we make them part of the study routine, we will increase the level of learning and also be more dynamic and will be reflected with good grades.
Choose and adapt the study space: it is important that the space is clear, orderly, with good lighting and ventilation. It is always recommended to study in the same place, it will help to concentrate faster
Prepare the material (books, notebooks and pen / pencil) and remove possible distractors such as mobile and computer.
It determines the time of study: it is verified that more information is retained and assimilated stipulating periods of less than 30 minutes
Organize the information: if it is a very extensive topic, it is recommended to divide it into subtopics that are easy to remember or relate them to some topic of daily life.
It is recommended not to memorize the information but to understand it. If you want to know more about the types of learning, click here.
Make personal notes as a summary of what has been learned, it is recommended to use colors and other study techniques such as conceptual maps, mental maps, synoptic charts, sign cards, questionnaires, diagrams and drawings.
Explain with your words the lesson studied to another person: this will achieve significant learning and not memorization. As Einstein said, you should explain things as if you were telling your grandmother, in this way you put to the test what you really learned.
Good nutrition: try to include foods high in antioxidants, such as almonds, walnuts, cranberries
Hydration: it is essential to drink water, you can also drink other drinks such as green tea
Restful sleep: it is very important to sleep for 6 to 8 hours, it helps to consolidate what has been learned.
If you like aromatherapy, you can use a diffuser with lavender essence, this will help your child concentrate more easily.
I leave a video that talks about the cientific study tips
Before knowing the different types of learning, it is important to understand that learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge, values, and the development of skills and attitudes. It is the method by which any human being assimilates certain information.
In the past, it was thought that there were only one or two ways to learn, however there are different, so it is relevant to know each student and the content we want them to learn, so we can choose the ideal type of learning. On this occasion we will mention 13 types.
The first type of learning is the implicit one: this is usually not intentional, it is given by the automatic execution of a motor behavior. If we think, we always learn without realizing it, for example to walk or talk.
The second is explicit learning, which, on the contrary of the implicit one, is conscious and intentional, therefore we require sustained and selective attention. This type of learning allows us to acquire information about places, people or objects.
The third type of learning is associative, as its name suggests it is to relate two stimuli or a stimulus + behavior. A clear example is the multiplication tables or the periodic table, it will be much more effective if it is reviewed with a song, so the brain will retain it more easily. So remember that, to achieve effective learning, use visual or audiovisual elements that the student likes. Ivan Pavlov (Russian psychologist) checks associative learning with his classical condition technique applied to his dog.
The fourth type is non-associative learning, it refers to the change of reaction to a repeated stimulus. They play a key role habituation (process in which a stimulus is repeated and the response is less and less intense) and awareness. For example when a baby is asleep and with the minimum noise, wakes up. If this happens every time he´s sleeping, the baby will stop waking up because of the noise.
The fifth learning is the significant, in this the student goes through a process in which he collects the information, selects it, organize and compares it with previous knowledge (new information vs. information that he already had).
The sixth type is cooperative learning, as the name implies it is carried out together with more students. This is given in educational classrooms, with a maximum of 5 people in the team, they have a teacher who guides and distributes roles.
The seventh learning is collaborative, it´s like the cooperative, more people are required, but the cooperative, unlike the cooperative, is more free; this means that the teacher only proposes the topic and the students decide how to approach it.
The eighth type is the emotional learning, this is very important, since it consists of knowing and managing the emotions efficiently.
The ninth learning is the observational one, also known as learning by imitation or modeling. It requires the participation of two people, the model (who will teach) and the student (who observes the behavior and learns).
The tenth type is the experiential learning. Learning from mistakes is the best example. This type of learning is produced as the name implies by experience.
The eleventh learning is by discovery, also known as heuristic learning (theory developed by the American psychologist Jerome Bruner), is usually an active learning that promotes the student to learn for himself, discovering, relating and reordering the concepts. The ideal for the teacher is to present situations stimulating their students through strategies of observation, comparison, analysis of similarities and differences.
The twelfth type is memoristic or repetitive learning, which consists in fixing in the memory in a mechanical and repetitive way concepts without deepening their meaning. It is when we repeat like parrot, therefore it is normal that we forget it in a short time. Some examples are: mathematical formulas, celebrities, phone numbers, birthdays, addresses among others.
The thirteenth learning is receptive, it is impulsive, passive and it is when the student receives the content but does not do it in his own way. A clear example is when you read a book, you recognize each word and the theme.
Talking about the education of children is a whole world in which we must be submerged, know new trends to apply them and obtain better results.
We invite you to join the international community of families, agreeing to student exchanges.
Nowadays we are all experts in everything and we have very different opinions about what we think is best in the education of our children.
Possibly, as in term of education no one sets the guidelines for what we should do, we usually go to “jump of the bush” doing what others we know have done, or even correcting the decisions we have made previously with the experience from another of our children.
We live in a very competitive world in which parents wantour children to be the best; we want them to achieve everything we never reach and project that frustration on children who need security.
We submit them under great pressure and nobody can extract anything positive.
We should simply understand that failure is wonderful and the real basis on which success and real learning is based.
We learns with the mistakes we made, not always having everything in favor.
Talking about the ideal age for our children to study abroad, it is important not to run or advance ahead of time.
The most important is that our childern be with us the right time; much important than the fact of studying abroad when actually is not the right moment with the excuse that they are going to learn english since early age.
The great learning for them is that they are with their parents.
Therefore, up to ten years it is advisable that our children stay by our side, and from Via Families we advise you not to travel to learn languages before eleven.
At the same time we should bear in mind that for an adult time passes much faster than for a child; sending our son/daughter two months away will take forever, especially if he/she is younger than eleven years old and needs to be at his parents’ side.
The ideal for their education will be to study abroad as they take off from us, although for this it will be necessary to have previously planted a good education. Only then can we reap fruit at maturity.
And those parents who do not make a good educational seeding, will be those who later feel afraid to send their children abroad; parents who will harbor doubts in the education offered and who will fear that their children will go deeper in the world of drugs – or in inappropriate behaviors.
So, a good option is for our son to make a first trip of a couple of weeks with a friend or acquaintance; a joint experience and more pleasant.
The important thing is not that our children learn languages but that they know how to get away from home, and for that, we must give them security.
Having had a solid childhood will bring them a strong maturity, being this type of children suitable for studying abroad.
We are talking about children who, without a doubt, will not suffer from a close attachment and who will know how to face the world.
So, do not have to run.
The ideal is to send our children overseas in a phased manner; first to Europe and then to more distant destinations.
Let’s not forget the most appropriate ages so that our children can enjoy the experience.
We, as parents, should not force our children to study abroad, but motivate them to want to live an experience that will mark them for future outings.
Talking with our children before making the decision and teaching them the virtues of destiny will be the best decision we can make, initially.
From Via Families we encourage you to adequately inform yourself of the best options for your children.
Since 1994, every may 15th it´s celebrated the International Family Day. It was proclaimed 25 years ago by the United Nations in order to raise awareness of the fundamental role played by families in the education of their children.
It is the main pillar that defines each person, since babies we adopt the values, customs, traditions and is formed by the hand of the family.
The concept of family has been transformed over the years according to trends and demographic changes. However, it is still the main unit of society. It is with whom we share moments full of laughter, love and sometimes anger, but we know that whatever happens there will be.
The family is the home to return to, they are our memories of childhood and adolescence and should be the foundation to create our own. Enjoy together, talk often and be attentive to each other.
It is true that we all by nature need a tribe, a place to which we belong, someone who loves us, a family to belong (anonymous).
In Via Families we believe that among all families we can make a better world if we help each other, because we all want the best for our children, since we all belong to the great family of the world.
All families seek the same, after all: we want our children to be open, empathetic and good people, who contribute their bit to society to make it better.
In Via Families we unite two important aspects in the growth of a person that are: family and education. That is why we offer an international platform of families interested in the international education of their children, proposing three options:
Exchanges, whether simultaneous or not
If you can not send your child, do not worry, you can receive another student at home and learn the culture and language of your guest’s origin.
You can not receive another student at home, do not worry, send your child with a family like yours.
Choose the family with who you want to share with the education of your children.
Living a linguistic / cultural experience of this magnitude brings many benefits, some of them are:
Overcome fears, therefore enhances security, personal growth and self-esteem
In Via Families you decide where, when and with whom, saving you up to 90% of the cost, all the details are freely agreed between interested families. Join the international community of families, by clicking HERE.
I leave the campaign that Ikea made for Christmas last year to reflect if the time we share with the family is of quality. Let’s take a moment to ask our loved ones how are they, what do they do, feel good? enjoy every moment and transform it into a unique, quality moment.
There are many quotes of philosophers, thinkers and pedagogues related with education throughout history of the humanity, but for the International Education Day we want to collect specially those that are focus on one type of endure education and is base on the human creation to create a better world.
Easy, honest, logic and deep quotes that doesn´t matter if these was said 2500 years ago but they are still current. I hope you enjoy it!
“The most important and principal public business is the good education of the youth people”
Platon (S V-IV a DC)
“Educate the mind without educate the heart, is educate absolutely nothing”
“Is the mark of an educated mind to be able to understand the though, is to accept it”
Aristoteles (S IV AC)
“The education is the fire of a flame, is not filling a container”
Socrates (Atenas, S IV AC)
“The school should be a grate prelude of our life”
Comenius (Nivnice March 28th, 1592 – Amsetrad (November 15th, 1670)
“Tell me and I forget it, teach me and I remember it, involve me and I learn it”
Benjamin Franklin (Boston, January 17th, 1706 – Philadelphia, April 17th, 1790)
“If we teach to the students of today as we teach yesterday, we are stealing them tomorrow”
John Dewey (Burlington, October 20th, 1859 – New York, June 1st, 1952)
“Sow it good ideas in kids, even though they don´t understand; the years will be in charge of deciphering them in their understanding and making them flourish in their hearts”
Maria Montessori (Italy August, 31st, 1870 – Netherlands May 6th, 1952)
“The education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”
Nelson Mandela (Mvezo, July 18th, 1918 – Johannesburgo, December 5th, 2013)
“To teach is not to transmit knowledge, is to create the possibility of producing them”
Paulo Freire (Recife, Brazil, 1921 – São Paulo, 1997)
“The unlettered of the 21th Century will not be those who cant know how to read or write, but those who can´t learn, unlearn and relearn”.
Alvin Toffler (New York, October 3rd, 1928 -LA, June 27th, 2016)
As usual, there you have a video, this time is to understand why Maria Montesori was an important pedagogue and why her methodology is still valid
Every 4th of January, is celebrated the World Braille Day, the alphabetic embossed system created to represent letters, punctuation marks, numbers and mathematic symbols contributing to the blind people a valid and efficient tool for Reading, writing and giving the Access to the education, the culture and the information.
It consists on a combination of six raised points divided into cells, organized as a matrix of 3 rows and 2 columns that allows to get 64 different combinations, including the one without a point, which is used as blank (to separate the words), also the differentiating special signs to convert a capital letter, number or a musical note. Usually they are listed top to bottom and left to right.
The UN has recognized and proclaimed the World Braille Day, to celebrate each 4th of January, highlighting multilingualism as a basic value of de UN. The principal main is promote awareness about the importance of braille as a media for full human fulfillment toward the blind people or visually impaired individuals. This day was chosen because of the inventor of the language, Louis Braille birthday (January 4th, 1809).
Louis was playing with some tools in his father’s workshop, and he had an accident with the sharp awl in one of his eyes, so he got an infection, that soon spread and blinding him in both eyes when he was 3 years old. He was learnt to read by feeling studs hammered into pieces of wood in the shapes of letters and numbers. Later, when he was 10 years old, he was accepted in a school, called Institute for Blind Children in Paris where they used crossed twigs were used to signify the letters of the alphabet. There, he also learnt to play cello and organ.
The idea of create the braille language started by the French Captain Charles Barbier, after the Napoleonic Wars; he invented the “night writing” that consisted of raised dots on cardboard used to send written messages on battlefields by night. The Captain continued promoting his writing method to other militaries, but they refused to use it. In 1820, Captain Barbier had the idea that maybe his system could be used by the blind people, so he took it to the school in the rue St-Victor (where Louis was a student).
Louis was tasked to evaluate the Barbiers system; he thought it was interesting but very plain to help blind people. Since that day, Louis Braille got inspired to adapt and complete his own system. And till 1824 (when he was 15 years old), finally he had finished his six dots system in varying patterns cells as domino, providing 63 permutations for different letters and numbers, including the “space” symbol. Later he also included musical notes.
The other students started using his method, because it was a tool to learn easily. Nevertheless, the school didn’t make it official because of the high price, they didn’t have enough money. Years later, Louis Braille, started to teach in that school using his own method of learning.
In 1826, he published his 32 pages book, named “Method of Writing Language, Plain Chant and Music, by Means of Raised Points for the Use of Blind Persons” (printed in embossed text).
Curious fact: on December 30 of 2014, the Braille language had been patented; therefore, it limited its use in any product. The Spanish Braille Commission and the ONCE Foundation, fought for the freedom of use, fulfilling the communicative and inclusive purpose.
As usual, there you have a video in which Deinny, a nine years old girl (part of the skating team, she plays some percussion instruments, sings, participate in the Astronomy club, she loves to read and enjoys every single moment of her live even though she could not see), she teach us how the braille system works and how her process has been.
It is usual to spend Christmas with family, but many students take advantage to live a new experience celebrating out of home.
Christmas is a moment of union, love, solidarity and integration. Make your student feel surrounded by love as if he/she was at home.
Invite she/he to participate in every single activity: help with the Christmas tree, the lights, etc.
Both (student and the host family) explain your Christmas traditions.
Clothing: It´s important that the student know how to dress, so she/he don´t feel uncomfortable, we should guide him/her, but at the same time leaving some margin so she/he can feel comfy.
If you want to help, giving to her/him a present, we should collaborate and give her/him a hand. Most probably she/he will feel comfortable giving a present.
Talk to the student family days before, so you can organize everything related with the gifts. You should know if her/him parents are going to send a present or you have to buy it. The day that you exchange presents, the student will also has one for she/he.
Dinner: if you are going to have family meeting, remember to include him/her. I´m pretty sure he/she will want to try and know more about the different culture and traditions. Maybe he/she doesn´t like it at all, so let him try and don´t insist.
Look for the perfect moment to make the family Photo and include him/her. Send those photos to the student family. Maybe you can have a Skype videocall with her/his family other day, it will be a nice gesture, but you have to schedule before (because of the time difference).
Each country, has specific traditions, but we share the general ones, for example: the Christmas tree or the Christmas crib. Celebrate the birth, giving present as the wise men did it.
Why the most important celebrations are made with family, around a table and giving presents? Well, that´s how Christians commemorate the Barth of Christ.
Any tradition is lived from the heart these christmas days and remain in the memory of everyone, make your host family the best memory for your student!
Merry Christmas to everybody!
Youtube: Do they Know it’s Christmas ~ Band Aid 1984
Would you like to be part of a host family? Please contact us so we can help you.
There are people who enjoy being hospitable: they do their best to receive relatives, friends and even strangers in their homes, and they care for these people by giving them not only food and shelter but also good vibes. Usually, these people make the decision to be part of a host family for exchange students and taking into account that this activity is not profitable (although it can be agreed that the student pays a sum that would compensate such family for their living expenses), many wonder what the host family wins with all this. The answer is, among many advantages, they acquire the experience of hosting an exchange student.
Raising and setting sails
The adventure begins with the host family and the student have their first conversations. Once both parties have all the necessary information they reach an agreement and then the host family should start making their arrangements to receive the exchange student: give them a bed, a space to place their belongings and buy groceries taking into consideration that there will be one more member in the family.
Certainly, preparations must also be made with respect to the children, telling them that the exchange student will be their sibling during the time of the stay. It is also important to encourage children to do their best to make the exchange student feel comfortable and that there will be times when more attention will be given to such student to help them through their adaptation process to the host country, but that this does not mean that they, the children, are less loved.
Navigating waters of all kinds
Notwithstanding the above, it is possible that from time to time there will be discussions between the exchange student and the children because, as it happens in every family, they will all compete for the attention of their parents. Also, the exchange student will sometimes not have the best spirits or will carry out actions to which the host family is not accustomed so both parties will have to be patient.
The other side of the coin is that there will be areas in which the exchange student will add value to the host family. In effect, if the exchange student speaks a language different from that of the host family, they will learn new words and phrases – perhaps including some bad words that will make the host family laugh and it will be one of those things for which they will always remember the exchange student.
Likewise, the exchange student will be able to share with his host family other expressions of their culture such as songs, dances and even typical food of their country. By the way, the exchange student will also have obligations within the home as if they were another child of their host parents. However, it should also be considered that the main objective of the exchange student is to succeed in the study program in which they are participating and to learn the language of the host country, in case it is different from the one of their country of origin. For this reason, the host family must give them the necessary time to go to class, fulfill assignments, attend extracurricular activities and be able to recreate themselves.
It should also be noted that the host family will have a fundamental role in each of these aspects. It is not only about housing a person and giving them food, but also about supporting them as much as possible as if they were another member of such family. Therefore, the host family will do well in helping the exchange student in their activities, as well as giving them valuable information about the country, such as which are the fastest routes to reach certain places, places of interest, offers and security information. In short, the host family must do everything necessary for the wellbeing of the exchange student just as it would do for any of its members.
Arriving happily in port
Arriving happily in port
All of the above is summarized in the golden rule: “Treat others as we would like to be treated”. If both the host family and the exchange student do this, both parties will get the most out of this experience and create a lasting friendship. Perhaps that last one is the biggest gain of hosting an exchange student: the possibility of connecting, creating value and exerting a positive influence on another human being.
The experience of hosting an exchange student has a series of advantages but also its challenges, one of which is the adaptation of the host family to said student. Every family has issues of its own, and the presence of a new member could cause agitation, especially at the beginning of the exchange program. In this article, we will tell you the three most important things you must know to get adapted to an exchange student.
1. Understand that the exchange student will experience culture shock
A culture shock is a phenomenon that takes place when someone moves to another place and faces a series of phases. At first, there’s the excitement of being in that new country, after which the country of origin is missed. Finally, the person who moved will incorporate to their personality the values learned in the host country, at which time adaptation will have occurred. However, while this happens, it is necessary to understand that the exchange student will experience symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, head and stomach aches, withdrawal, rapid mood swings and inability to focus.
Naturally, anyone who suffers from these symptoms will not be at their best, and in the particular case of the exchange student, feeling homesick is added to the equation, so these students are not having a good time at all. Thus, members of the host family should keep this in mind and be particularly empathetic with the exchange student. In this sense, they can encourage the latter to carry out a series of actions with the purpose of overcoming said culture shock.
Among these activities are the realization of cultural exchange activities, sports, frequent contact with the exchange student’s loved ones, and encouraging them to build new social relationships in the host country. Regarding this last point, the members of the host family would do well to integrate the exchange student into their activities, such as inviting them to their social gatherings and other events. That way, the student can get distracted and meet new people.
2. Prepare to deal with family issues
Dealing with family issues
In every family there are problems and the arrival of an exchange student will not solve them by magic. Conversely, the presence of a new member can cause new issues to arise or others to aggravate, such as rivalry sibling and financial distress. Concerning rivalry sibling, the first thing to understand is that it is normal for this to happen. Children will always compete for their parents” attention, so the latter must constantly tell the first how much they love them and demonstrate it with actions, as well as reminding them that the exchange student is far from their country. For this reason, it is important to treat them with affection to help them overcome culture shock.
Now, about financial problems, this is a situation that must be anticipated and, in any case, managed. Although the objective of an exchange program is not the host family’s financial gain but the cultural and spiritual enrichment of all the parties involved, it is also true that this exchange program should not impoverish them.
For that reason, the host family should first analyze if it has the resources to fulfill that role and, in case of requiring compensation for the exchange student’s maintenance costs, this must be agreed in advance. Moreover, if there is a change in the family situation and it is necessary for said student to provide a higher amount, this topic should be addressed as well. Money does not buy happiness, but when we do not have it, it can be an additional cause of stress.
3. Give them joy
Although this can be deduced from the previous two points, it is necessary to emphasize that the simplest way to adapt to another person and, in general, to make any relationship work is by giving joy to others. Understand that the exchange student is a human being and as such they deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, especially taking into account their special situation. If the host family appropriately treats the exchange student right, they will do the same with them, creating a virtuous circle that will make coexistence enjoyable.
Are you interested in hosting an exchange student? Please contact us.
Exchange students are not the only ones to have access to a new culture. In fact, members of a host family also get this benefit, without leaving the comfort of their home. These exchanges not only broaden the general culture of both parties but are a source of joy for all. In this article, we will tell you four ways how a host family can discover new cultures while hosting exchange students.
1. Learn new words and phrases
When a person participates in an exchange program, one of their main objectives is usually to learn the language spoken in the host country. To do this, members of the host family should try to speak to the student only in that language, but this does not mean that from time to time they can’t ask the student how certain words or phrases are said in their country. Indeed, having the host family learn such phrases or words is a way to show the student that this is important for that family.
2. Experience a different culinary culture
Another way to make a cultural exchange within the framework of an exchange program is for the student to cook for their host family. Usually, the opposite happens: the host family prepares traditional food of their country to which the student tends to adapt, but it would not hurt if, for example, a Japanese student prepares sushi or a Spanish one cooks a Spanish tortilla (omelet). By doing this, the host family will be able to break their culinary routine, but it will also be a way for the student to collaborate with household chores at a given time, and the fact that said student may taste food from their country could be a way to calm their evil of homeland.
On the other hand, it is quite possible that the dish prepared by the student in the host family’s home has a flavor that seems different to the one that is perceived when such student cooks the same dish in their country. This is normal because maybe said dished aren’t prepared with the same ingredients, or they have variations that, even if they are minimal, end up influencing the final product. However, the important thing is to have that experience of eating as a family. As the old saying goes: “A family that eats together, stays together”, a union that in this case will take place because of the exchange student’s culture.
3. Sing and dance to other rhythms
Cultural exchanges can also take place from the artistic point of view. If the exchange student sings or plays an instrument, they would do well to do so in the presence of the host family. Also, if they know how to dance rhythms of their country or region, they could do the same. Imagine having at home a Spanish student dancing flamenco, a Venezuelan dancing to drums, a Puerto Rican dancing salsa or an Argentine dancing tango, to name a few of the many rhythms that exist in the Spanish-speaking world. Host family members may not learn to dance these rhythms in one night or even during the whole exchange student stay, but the simple fact of seeing the exchange student dancing to a peculiar rhythm will be cause for joy.
4. Celebrate special holidays
Day of the dead
It’s also a good idea to hold homemade meetings for celebrations that take place in the country of the exchange student, as would be the case of the Day of the Dead, as celebrated in Mexico and which is alluded to in the movie “Coco”. In such a meeting, the exchange student, with the help of the host family or other students, could organize the preparation of typical foods, sing and dance traditional rhythms, and speak their language.
As you can see, there are many ways in which a host family can open a window to other cultures. Are you interested in hosting exchange students? Contact us so we can help you.
One of the less mentioned topics when it comes to exchange programs is that of the host family, the one that receives an exchange student at their home to host such student. However, this topic rarely addressed from the perspective of the family. In the following article, we will give tips to be a good host family based on the experience of people who have fulfilled that role. These are the tips:
Be aware that there will be changes at home
One of the main points is to remember that the student is not the only one who is venturing into a new experience. It is an unavoidable fact that the host family’s home environment will change at the presence of a new member, especially at the beginning when both are making great efforts to understand each other if the student comes from a country with a different language. It is easier to deal with these changes when you have already prepared to feel them and have taken into consideration the implications of living with a stranger. Above all, remember that many changes, however confusing, help us grow as a person.
Treat the exchange student as a member of the host family
The treatment given to the student must be on equal terms with the rest of the family. They already must feel worried because of being in a new place with strangers. Although the need to adapt is implicit in any exchange program, cultural clashes are inevitable. So imagine that this student is part of your family and treat him kindly and warmly, in such a way that even though your cultures are totally different, that student can feel comfortable in your home.
Honesty and clear rules are the keys
Be honest from the beginning regarding the establishment of schedules, assignment of responsibilities and other types of agreements to maintain proper coexistence. Also, communication with the student should ideally be in the language spoken at the host family’s home. One of the reasons for the exchange program to exist is for the student to learn the language and culture of the host country. In addition, it is necessary to inform them about your house rules, which must be applied in equal terms to the rest of the family. In that sense, respect for family traditions and collaboration in housework is essential.
Support the student exchange in its adaptation process
The host family must help the student exchange to introduce the latter in the country and its culture, accompanying them in their adaptation process. In this sense, they should be informed about how transportation works, how to interact with some people to make more friends. Also, host families should take students to interesting places, restaurants, museums, etc., where they can learn more about history, music, and local traditions. It should not be forgotten that the host family is in charge of helping the exchange student to take their first steps within the society of the host country.
Patience is key during exchange programs
The first days and weeks are the most complicated ones because of the adaptation process. Never allow something that you do not understand to make you angry. The best thing is to solve whatever issues with communication. Once the student learns to communicate better in the new language, it will be propitious to inquire them about what life is like in their country of origin; you may be surprised at their answers. The exchange students are not the only ones who get to learn thanks to the exchange program; host families do as well.
Ask for other host families’ opinion
If you know people who have been part of a host family, you can ask about their experience or how they handled a particular situation. Never be afraid to ask questions, being informed is one of the keys to being an excellent host house. If you have any questions or are interested in hosting exchange students, please contact us.
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One of the most significant concerns of those who go on an exchange program is their adaptation to the country where the mentioned exchange program will take place. This is natural since they will be in a place where another language may be spoken, and the odds are that it will also have a different culture to that of their country of origin.
How to adapt to the country where you go on an exchange program
When going on an exchange program, students experience differences in aspects that are usually ignored, as is the case of food: when they eat common foods such as pizzas or a burgers, these meals tend to have different flavors, even if they have been prepared by the student themselves, with the same ingredients that they regularly use for it in their country of origin. This can cause students to feel a rupture and make them miss their country of origin. Is this your case? Don’t worry. Here are some tips that will help you adapt to the country where your exchange program takes place
Keep good communication with your host family
The best way to adapt in the country where you go on an exchange program is to establish an excellent communication with your host family from day one. Be honest about your expectations, clarify any doubts and resolve any problems that may arise. A simple misunderstanding can escalate creating an increasingly uncomfortable situation, so it is better to solve problems when they occur. Any issue, however complicated, can be handled provided it is done with enough tact.
Learn basic notions of the language spoken in the exchange program’s country
If your language is not the one spoken in the country where you went on an exchange program, make sure you have a basic knowledge of its language that allows you to at least express the most basic and necessary ideas. However, the objective in this type of exchange programs is usually that the student learns the language of the country in which the exchange program takes place, which they will be doing progressively on a scale of gradients.
Open your mind
Before going to an exchange program make sure to do it with an open mind, because if there is something sure is that you will meet different people and have new experiences. This type of exchange projects broaden student’s horizons: they open student’s eyes to make them see the world with a new perspective and manufacture what we now call “global citizens“: people with the ability to perceive their surroundings in a unique way and who are also able to adapt to all kinds of environments.
Have the right attitude
On having the right attitude
Adapting to a new environment is easier than it seems. In fact, it is something that happens at some point after leaving your comfort zone, as long as you have the right attitude.
A person who wants to live new experiences and goes for their goal without looking back adapts better than others who prefer to keep the same thought patterns and not have to face day-to-day situations. It’s not that it’s wrong to stay at home and have a quiet time, but the world is out there, and an exchange program is not just about moving from home, it’s a paradigm shift.
Moreover, having a collaborative attitude is the best thing you can do when you get to a new home. Share ideas about yourself and your country of origin while you talk, and help your host family with daily chores. The fact that you are in a new place does not mean that those who you live with will be the ones who take care of everything for you. By helping your host family, you’ll build a better relationship with them. Also, while at it, you may practice the new language you’re learning in the exchange program. Good manners are a symbolic way to be grateful to those who are opening a space for you in their home. Rest assured that such details never go unnoticed.
Create or participate in a support network
You should also know that you will rarely be alone. Frequently, exchange programs group several individuals, so there will be people like you living similar experiences. You can reach them to establish a mutual support network while you all adapt to the exchange country. On the other hand, it is highly recommended that you speak with those who have already gone through exchange programs. They can offer you their perspective on the subject and give you valuable advice which can make all the difference in your own experience.