If you are considering hosting students then you will, undoubtedly, wish to review the advantages and disadvantages of your potential decision. It is important to evaluate this as hosting students is not a decision which should be taken lightly. When you agree to hosting students you are accepting a stranger into your home, making them feel like your family and involving them in everything you do.
The following list of Advantages and disadvantages will help you decide if you are ready for hosting students:
- Emotional bond – you will create new friendships simply because of the amount of time spent with any new addition to your family. The more involved they become with the things you do the deeper the bond. This may be seen as a disadvantage as it makes far more painful emotionally when they return home. However, the emotional benefit when they are with you and the lasting friendships created are worth this. In some cases it can even lead to you visiting their country or them returning to you in the future.
- Knowledge – You will expand your cultural awareness and broaden your horizons by listening to the way that other cultures live. In return your student will learn about your culture and may be able to take some of the ideas back to their home country.
- Satisfaction – You may be surprised at how satisfying it is to help someone learn more of a language and develop a deeper understanding of your culture. When hosting students you can literally watch them expand and grow whilst they stay with you. In general students are very open-minded and eager to learn. You will simply be nurturing their minds.
- Children benefit – Your own children will benefit dramatically when you are hosting students. They will learn from them and teach them. This process can build confidence in your own children as they become the experts and the students are almost dependent on them.
- Emotional bond – As mentioned the emotional bond formed when hosting students is a positive thing. Except when they have to go home. This may not be too big an issue if the student has stayed with you for a couple of weeks. But, if they have been with you for a whole year it can be heart wrenching and leave you feeling like your world has been turned upside down!
- Additional Cost – Hosting students means taking them into your own home and including them in everything you do. This means that every trip out, to the cinema, for a meal or any activity will cost extra; you have an extra child to cater for. It is important to be aware of this and factor it into your equations. Whilst some students will contribute towards these costs, others will not; or even cannot.
In general there are more benefits associated with hosting students and there will be a lifelong change in the way you view the world. This alone will make the experience worthwhile!