We strongly advise all families and students to take time upon student arrival to have an open and clear conversation about all expectations pertaining to safety and wellness in regard to COVID-19. These include, but are not limited to, any host family rules and expectations pertaining to personal protection when outside of the home, cleaning, movement within the community outside of the home (including errands such as grocery shopping or haircuts), visitors and in-home services, and socializing with others. Please work with the host family to make sure they are decided upon what their home and family rules and expectations will be. Please defer to CDC, state, and local guidelines when working with the host family.
Please contact your Support Specialist if you believe that a host family's rules and expectations are too restrictive or too relaxed.
We also encourage you to talk to your student about host family rules and local and state guidelines on a recurring basis, during your regular check-ins. If they have any questions or express uncertainty, please review these requirements together. Keep checking in about this, since new questions or concerns may come up during the year, especially as local, state, and CDC guidelines may change.
As a first wave of pro-active support, we ask that all participants and host families complete the Participant and Host Family Questionnaire twice. The first time should be within a week of the student’s arrival, and the second time about five weeks into program. This will be to reinforce expectations specific to student and host family safety, and to account for any changes that may occur during a student’s first few weeks on program.
Secondly, we encourage Liaisons to review the Cultural Exploration Questionnaire with both the student and host family (liaisons are also encouraged to participate and respond to all questions found in this document).
The Cultural Exploration Questionnaire...
- Serves as an ice-breaker and as a mode of establishing rapport between the student and host family as well as with you as their liaison.
- Promotes the expectation that cultural differences are inevitable in an intercultural exchange.
- Presents helpful tools to pro-actively understand these differences.
- Provides all involved with the ability to exercise greater agency and have a better understanding of how to distinguish between differences which may be cultural in nature and not exclusively behavioral/personal.