Xperitas wants to ensure a positive and enriching experience for you, your host families and the international students. Follow the steps below, and be sure to contact us with any questions along the way!
Before students arrive
Each year you plan to host students, confirm your program details with Xperitas and sign a program agreement. Then, recruit host families following Xperitas guidelines. U.S. host families should complete the Host Family Application before being matched with international students. Confirm and communicate all matches with Xperitas and the host families.
Once host families are matched with their international students, it’s time to prepare everyone for the hosting experience. Xperitas recommends planning two host family meetings prior to the international students’ arrival:
- At the first meeting, discuss expectations and answer questions about the day-to-day details of hosting.
- At the second meeting, confirm arrival and departure details (provided by Xperitas) and answer last-minute questions.
These meetings not only provide a space for reviewing logistics of the hosting program, but they also are great opportunities for host families within your community to connect with one another.
If you are coordinating a program that involves organized activities, you will need to submit a program calendar to Xperitas. The program calendar should also be shared with host families prior to the start of your program.
While students are in your community
Family Stay Coordinators are required to be on call while international students are in their community. Occasionally problems do occur, which may range from simple cultural misunderstandings to illness. Rest assured that Xperitas will support you in managing any issues that arise. Xperitas staff are available to you 24/7 while the international students are in your community.
Share Hosting Highlights
The hosting experience will be enriching and rewarding for both international students and host families alike! We encourage you and the families to share your hosting experiences with us throughout the program so we can celebrate the highlights with you. There are many ways to do this! Here are a few suggestions:
- Post updates on our Facebook page or send stories directly to Xperitas.
- Encourage students to share their unique perspective on their hosting experience by contributing to our blog, whether it’s through more traditional journaling, a photo essay or a creative video clip.
- Take part in Xperitas' Photo Contest! Encourage host families and particpants to capture their experience in photos and submit them to the contest. Feel free to submit your own photos as well!
Preparing for Departure
A week before the international students’ departure, you should check in with each of your host families to confirm they have the flight information for their international student, departure instructions and any other updates.
After students leave
Even after a short visit, it will be tough to say goodbye to the visiting students! As families bid farewell to their newest family member, encourage them to stay in touch and to share their stories and feedback with Xperitas.
Hosting Program Evaluation
We depend on your feedback to ensure quality programs and make improvements when necessary. After the conclusion of your hosting program, Xperitas will send evaluations to you and your host families to gather your thoughts on the experience with us. Please complete the evaluation and encourage your host families to do so as well.
Continue to Share the Hosting Experience
Xperitas is always looking to collect the rich stories from our program participants to share with others who are interested in getting involved. Remind students and their families to share their hosting experiences, whether it be by posting to our Facebook page, contributing to our blog, submitting photos to the Xperitas Photo Contest or emailing stories to Xperitas. We’d also love to get your thoughts on coordinating a hosting program and the ins-and-outs of doing so.
Consider hosting a get-together of host families a few weeks or months after the program to reminisce about the hosting experience and to begin recruiting for next year. Word-of-mouth and positive personal experiences are the best recruitment tools!
You have helped to open the hearts and minds of your neighbors to customs and perspectives from another part of the world. The impact of your dedication – and the investment made by host families – will have a lasting influence for years to come. Xperitas thanks you!