Exchanges and homestays part 1 – insights, procedures and guidance

Exchanges and homestays part 1 – insights, procedures and guidance

They can provide rich learning and development opportunities…

Homestays can be simply a means of providing young people with accommodation during a visit, but they can also provide rich learning and development opportunities as an integral part of the visit, according to recently updated OEAP National Guidance.

The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) produces National Guidance, which provides comprehensive support for the management of high-quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities.

National Guidance provides three particularly useful documents with regard to exchange visits and homestays – both in the UK and overseas.

  1. Exchanges and Homestays
  2. Hosting a Homestay
  3. A Homestay Information Form

This article will deal with information regarding document 1, with 2 and 3 being covered in a subsequent post.

Exchanges and homestays part 2 – hosting a homestay »

Exchanges and Homestays

Homestays can be simply a means of providing young people with accommodation during a visit, but they can also provide rich learning and development opportunities as an integral part of the visit.

The most effective way of understanding a different country, culture or language is to experience it first-hand. Our understanding of and relationship with the wider world has never been more important. An exchange visit, placing young people in family homestay settings, is one of the best ways of enabling this.

These experiences can help young people to develop self-esteem, self-confidence and independence and provide both an insight into the culture and an opportunity to use language skills in a real context.

Topics covered in document 7.1f Exchanges and homestays include:-

  • Rationale
  • Arranging a Homestay
  • Selecting and Vetting Homestay Hosts
  • Preparing for a Homestay
  • Exchanges Involving Work Experience
  • Monitoring
  • Communication with Host Families
  • Final Checks for EVCs and Visit Leaders
  • Specific Advice.

“The Visit Leader should ensure that feedback and review is built into the homestay arrangements. This should involve the young people, parents, host families, leaders and partner organisations and can help with end of stay celebrations as well as contributing to the planning of future visits. Any significant issues should be shared with the establishment’s Educational Visits Coordinator, head/manager and/or employer as appropriate.”

The downloads referred to in this article also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.


Download OEAP National Guidance document 7.1f Exchanges and homestays »

An introduction to OEAP National Guidance »

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