There are a variety of reasons why you may wish to become host parents. These range from the feeling of satisfaction when you have helped someone develop their understanding of another culture, to simply a requirement for extra cash. No matter what your initial motivation, you will find that when you become host parents you will experience a life changing and deeply satisfying experience.
It is actually very easy to become host parents; you simply need to follow these steps:
Choose a school or firm
The first step in the process to become host parents must be to choose the language school or independent firm you wish to be affiliated with. In general there are two options. The first is to sign up with a language school. They will do all the vetting of the students and provide you with as many students as you are able to deal with. You will simply need to set the dates you are available.
The second option is to sign up with a firm that specializes in connecting dents with host parents. This is generally a more direct link and allows you to check the perspective student yourself. You will still set your own availability dates but will also be able to control the amount charged and several other details. It is worth noting that in this scenario they will not already be attached to a language school and you may need to help them locate the best one for their needs.
Check the requirements
Once you have decided which is your preferred route you should check all the fine print on their terms and conditions. This will specify what criteria you need to fulfill to become host parents and all the details regarding each student’s stay. There is not usually anything to worry about in these conditions but it is worth checking them before you sign up to use their service.
The next step is to apply; this is usually done in writing on a pre-printed form although it is becoming increasingly common for an online application form to be permissible. The form to become host parents will require your personal details and whether one of you is available all the time to assist the student. You will need to be available if you are looking after them full time!
Some, although not all of the schools and firms, like to do a home visit before you can become host parents. This is to confirm that you have the space you say you have. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask extra questions and for the school to provide any tips to make sure the process is as simple as possible.
You will then need to set your parameters. This will include availability, how long you prefer students to stay and the countries that they come from. When you become host parents you can also decide the approximate age of your students. The school will then locate students for you and advise you of when they will be with you.
If you are with a firm which directly connects you to students then you will also need to complete a profile. This will demonstrate what a student will receive from you and why you have become host parents. Students and their families can then contact you to arrange the finer details.