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inmersion-linguistica
education, Family, History, Languages, Learn, School, Travel, Voyage, World,

How does an exchange influences your child?

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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

Source: YouTube                                                                                                                                        Year of publication: 2014

braille
Apprendre, education, Family, Family - Health, Languages, Langues, Learn, School, World,

World Braille Day

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YepYQZOZJ4

solidarity+viafamilies
World,

International Human Solidarity Day

December 20th is the day that the General Assembly proclaimed as the International Human Solidarity Day which promotes to focus on eradicating poverty, maintaining the hope of a better world, enhancing the protection of the dignity of people, the defense of the environment and the planet.

Days like today we celebrate our diversity, we take awareness of the importance of solidarity, we encourage the debate to achieve common goals, as well as the eradication of poverty. In the same way, we promote 3 actions to improve human solidarity. The first is assistance, facilitate basic services to all people. The second action is the help of development, we lay the foundations for communities to work for their own development. The third is cooperation; this is not only to empower vulnerable communities, but to generate an ethical bond between donor communities and beneficiaries.

 

May all our actions be humanitarian, let’s take our arms to help!

The Charities Aid Foundation, made a study that evaluates the solidarity behaviour of 153 countries, it focuses on 3 main values: the financial donations, the time had spent as volunteer and the time spent helping other people. Spain is number 83 of 153.

The top 10 countries most solidarities are:

  1. United States
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Netherland
  7. Canada
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Thailand
  10. Laos

Now, we can also help as a personal label, some actions you can do are:

  1. Give your time (volunteer)
  2. Donate (specific objects, food, medicines, clothes)
  3. Make a financial donation.
  4. Organize a solidarity activity (non-profit fund raising, charity events)
  5. Solidarity education (teach to the kids the importance of being supportive through movies or stories)
  6. Fight for the human rights of all the people.

Remember that our mision in Via Families is to contribute in young education and their future to eradicate the poverty and inequality for a better world.

The following video will make us think about the daily actions in which we can collaborate.

Source of reference:

http://www.un.org/es/events/humansolidarityday/

https://www.campodecriptana.info/fechas-celebres/1555-20-de-diciembre-dia-internacional-de-la-solidaridad-humana  

http://www.worldvision.es/noticias-ayuda-humanitaria/los-10-paises-mas-solidarios-del-mundo?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImPqn36Su3wIVReh3Ch3JJwNAEAAYASAAEgJ6kvD_BwE

Setting sails
Family, Travel,

The experience of hosting an exchange student

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

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.

Culture shock
Family,

How to adapt to an exchange student

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

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.

 

Captura de pantalla 2017-04-04 11.50.22
Family, Languages, Learn, School, Travel,

Travelling and learning languages: another cheap and simple alternative– Article “Making Family”

If we read the press daily, new platforms, instruments and tools appear in order to learn or improve languages. Netflix for example has a channel that helps you improve your languages ​​by watching movies and they have already created simultaneous translation devices such as TRAVIS.

Learning languages ​​has become an imperative in the education of our children and it is not enough with one language anymore. Alejandro Ferrer director of the Educational Consultancy MCM says that “a language is mastered when you can make and understand jokes in that language”.

Since the crisis began, families are investing 28% more in the education of their children according to the newspaper La Vanguardia and one of the fields where the investment has grown is in mobility and language education abroad.

In Spain, the foreign language is considered one of the most important subjects.

Agencies and educational consultants such as MCM Educational Consultants help parents make the best academic and curriculum decisions abroad, but they are priced, and sometimes not affordable to all families, especially if they have more than one child then the expense is multiplied.

As many experts say, it is in linguistic immersion where one really learns a language, it becomes internalized in all linguistic aspects and is definitively entrenched in our minds.

 

Why invest in languages?

It is one of the questions in education that perhaps has more than one answer. The globalized world in which we live, forces young people to master one or two languages ​​in addition to the mother tongue.

Languages ​​have been and continue to be a degree in training, something difficult to learn if you live with natives of the host country, so for centuries studying in a foreign country has been part of the same educational process.

A few days ago, the newspaper Mercado published: “Speaking another language changes the structure of the brain. It makes the mind more malleable. A group of polyglots working together will be a group with original thinking. ”

Androulla Vassiliou, in an interview with Aprendemas.com (2002), said: “There is no denying that languages ​​open borders and new possibilities and job opportunities that without them would definitely not exist, but as the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, : “Language learning is money well spent, as it is an investment in the future of our young people in particular and in the future of Europe” and “monolingualism is a luxury that we cannot afford.”

Young people need to know other cultures and countries as it makes them more tolerant and open to diversity.

 

What does the market offer to travel and learn languages?

Although the best option is to immerse ourselves in another culture and impregnate ourselfs with it, it has turned out to be the least economical with the options that were offered up until now. Agencies representing schools, clubs, camps, payment families, academies … require very high costs that many families cannot afford.

With the emergence of collaborative economies, new ways are also open for languages ​​and families, and Via Families is an example of this, a platform for international exchanges for families and students, without agencies or intermediaries, getting to know and choosing the family personally to make invitation exchanges.

 

What does Via Families offer you?

Via Families offers an international network of families and students to make language, sporting or cultural exchanges, joining common interests and needs, around education, sport, culture or languages.

The possibility of choosing and deciding where, when, how and with whom to make an exchange, travel or receive a student.

Students travel and know other cultures, practice their favorite sports or hobbies and perfect or learn another language thanks to other families like yours.

Nobody better than parents and students to know the type of family they want, when and how they want to make the invitation or exchange. They do not need intermediaries but only one channel to get to know them: Via Families is the simplest channel available to international education.

 

How does collaborative economy work in languages?

Via Families Community

Like many other collaborative economies that are so in vogue (AirBnB, BlaBlaCar or Home Exchange) it relies on help. Helping each other by saving intermediaries and agencies, lowering costs to the maximum, based on mutual needs and interests.

In only 3 steps you can contact who you want: registering, creating profile and contacting. Nothing simpler, safer, easier and cheaper. Families have the option to contact anonymously through the platform’s messaging service until they decide to share their data.

Guarantee, security and confidence

Validate the identity, associating the profile with the social networks of Facebook and LinkedIn (this will remain hidden), belonging to an association, school, federation or company, upload a legal document to your profile … all sums up in Via Families to prove the validity of Your identity.

In addition, Via Families already has the support of several sports federations like the Catalan Federation of Tennis and the Spanish, French Federation South of Tennis, ELFAC Numerous Families of Europe, or Group Romeu. All of them have joined Via Families to endorse the profile of their employees, federated or associates. A further guarantee of confidence for other families.