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Staying with host families

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by HelenWickes, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Can anyone offer advice? I want to organise a language trip aimed at Year 11 students where they attend lessons in the morning and visit cultural sites in the afternoon. Halsbury Travel looks really good but they only seem to offer accomodation with "host families". I am concerned that I will not be able to supervise/ control what the students are doing if they are out of my sight? Does anyone have any experience of host families? Do the students go out drinking all night?

  2. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    definitely the best way for language acquisition but fraught with problems from the point of view of supervision/child protection. Talk it through with your Head and see what they think.

  3. Hi Helen
    I've used Halsbury Travel for the past 7 years for our homestay trips and they're ace! We've used several different centres and had morning lessons for different year groups/abilities. The best lessons we've had were in Tours and the best homestay families we've had were in Rouen.
    The French homestay families don't allow our students out without supervision, and we always ask if we can have French families who have similar aged children if possible. On the rare occasion that there's been a problem, the host family or the rep have called me straight away.
    Halsbury are really nice to work with, because they're a small firm and so you deal with the same person all the way through. We've just got back from a very successful trip!
    Hope this helps....
  4. Thank you both for the comments. I'm going to ring Halsbury tomorrow to find out more and it's really helpful to have positive feedback on the company. The trip I'm hoping to run is for Spanish students and I was looking at Madrid thinking that if this were to be the student's first/ only trip to Spain it would be good to see mayor sites. Do you think smaller destinations are more successful, however, and perhaps safer?

  5. I think that it depends where the host families are based - when we did a Paris homestay, we were based in a suburb, where there was little going on, and so we had to take them into Paris for our afternoon excursions. But when we've stayed in smaller places, we've had more imaginative trips and not just regular touristy stuff, ie baking our own bread, visiting a snail farm, seeing a birds of prey demonstration (that was bizarre, but the kids loved it!) etc.
  6. Try ILYC. They are based in Granada and have an excellent network of host families. We have used them for several years and have been impressed.
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    My colleague takes her kids to Salamanca. Never had any problems with host families. It's a really successful trips and kids' mastery of languages comes leaps and bounds so I'd say staying with a host family definitely is worth the extra paperwork.
  8. Thanks again for all the advice. I've not heard of ILYC but I'll certainly google them now. Halsbury offers Salamanca. I was initially put off by the thought of having to take a coach journey after the flight, however, I don't think we want to be stuck out in a suburb and it would seem to be a safer option for a first trip. Any more thoughts greatly appreciated.


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