martes, 6 de agosto de 2013

How does the school choose a host family?

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All about Host Families:

These are the most frequently questions we receive about host families.

How and Why a family would like to receive a foreigner in the house?
In all cases, hosts are very interested in meeting new people, from different cultures, religions and mind. The enriching part of it is the cultural exchange. Specially retired couples who have married children are very willing to host young people, since they still feel the need of looking after someone...

What kind of family can I choose from? 

  • Young  couples, with children.
  • Young couples, no children
  • Retired couples, children are married.
  • Divorced women or widows, some of them living with her children.
  • Single women

How does the school choose a host family?
Our families are selected considering many different aspects: family routines need to be flexible enough to make the students' stay as happy as possible. Houses need to be clean, safe and have enough space for their guests to feel comfortable. 

Will the host family help me with my Spanish or will they speak English with me?
Host families are advised to encourage students to speak Spanish as much as possible during their stay, and -of course- never speak any other language but Spanish, unless it is absolutely necessary, i.e.: if a student has an emergency, or if the explanation in Spanish is not working because of the cultural shock he or she might be experimenting, etc. 

How long has the school worked with these host families?
Our host families have received our students for more than 10 years, so they are very experienced and know how to manage different situations.

What do they do for a living?
Most members of these families are professionals, scientists, teachers or retired people.

What am I expected to do?
Families expect their guests to tidy up their space, keep clean what they use, inform hosts about what time they will be back, respect the family meals schedules, keep their personal higiene, do not smoke in the house and, if drinking alcohol, only on the family premises.

How far from school are the host families?
These houses are no further than 10 blocks from the school.  When housing is not withing walking distance from the school, it is convenient to public transportation.

Can I come with my husband and children?
Yes, when students are accompanied by spouses or partners or/and children, accommodation can be arrenged for the whole group.

What meals does it include? 
Family stays include breakfast and dinner. They can use the fridge to keep their own snacks. 

What about laundry?
Laundry is paying-out-of-pocket, at laundry service, 100 meters from school.

What else should I know?
Our host families feel responsible for our students, as if they are a member of their family so be respectful of your family’s concerns for your safety and well-being.
It is expected that you are at home at dinner time. For this reason it is important to arrive home on time for dinner. Please communicate delays or changes to your schedule in advance. Dinner in Argentina is typically around 9pm.
If you want to invite people to your house, please ask permission to the host family. Under no circumstances are visitors allowed to stay overnight. Please, avoid compromising situations.
Most Argentineans take pride in a neat and clean house. Be sure to keep your room neat, maintain living space in an orderly manner and cleaning up after yourself.
Keep your valuables at home in a secure place. Both the host family and the school are not responsible for theft or lost.

Communication is important to build a good relationship with your host family. If there is anything you do not understand please do not hesitate to ask your family. By communicating with them you can avoid misunderstandings later on.
If you have any other questions or problems, do not hesitate to contact the school.

* Shared or private bedroom
* Bed linen and towels
* Bathroom
* Breakfast and dinner (every day)

Not included           
* laundry
* telephone (you may receive calls, pls make sure that it is ok with the family)
* alcoholic drinks (If occasionally, your host family invites you with wine at dinner it would be very nice of you if you can do the same sometime during your stay)
* lunch

Laundry is not included in the lodging rates, and it is not OK to do wash clothes in the bathroom. You can ask your host if it is possible to get your laundry done by them as long as you pay for it. There are many Laundromats nearby the school where you can do your laundry.

Meals included in our home stays are breakfast and dinner. Remember, in Argentina breakfast consists of coffee and toast or pastries. Some families might be more flexible about this, but it is not their obligation to serve anything other than this. Wine is not included, nor lunch. Any change about this shall be requested. It is not OK to use the kitchen for cooking, unless your host has allowed you to. In which case, you need to make sure what time you can use it and leave it as clean as you found it.
Time for meals: Hosts have their own obligations so it is not OK to change the time for dinner, unless it is really necessary. In Argentina, people have dinner at about 9:00 pm or later. Feel free to have dinner out, but in fairness to the family you still will be charged the same amount.

Extending your stay, Early Departure and Cancelation:
On the first class day in La Montaña, the student shall confirm the exact check out date.
It is possible to extend the accommodation program. This decision shall be informed to the accommodation coordinator AT THE SCHOOL at least one week in advance. Such extension will depend on the apartment availability on the required dates. In case the family has previously reserved the place, other options will be offered to the student.

The stay extension with no prior notice to La Montaña shall not be valid and the student shall leave the host family on the date previously settled.

In case the student has already paid their accommodation program and decides to leave earlier their money shall not be returned.
If the student has reserved accommodation for certain amount of time but decides to leave before the preset date of departure, he/she will be charged a fee of 20% of the amount.
In case the student wants to travel during their stay, and leaves part of their luggage in the house, they shall pay as if they were staying there.

Check out time is 10am.  Check in time will be arranged when we receive your arrival time information.  Host Families ARE NOT A HOTEL.

Damages and prejudices:
La Montaña shall not be held responsible for damages and prejudices that may be caused by or to the student at any time whatsoever. The student has dully been informed about and notified of their responsibilities and liabilities as regards the host family and house.
In case of losing the apartment keys, the student shall afford the costs arising thereof.

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