Host Families

why host?

Ready to give your kids the summer of their lives? Do you want to expose them to another culture and language? Would you like to have extended family in Europe that your family can visit in the future?? If you have answered yes to any of those questions, you are ready to become a host family in the summer to one of the fantastic teenagers from Spain, traveling with Speak and Travel to the CSRA, Columbia and Greenville.

All that is required are kid(s) at home, a spare bed, and the willingness to open your home and heart. It is an amazing experience for the whole family, and indeed the best way to expose your family to a different culture, language, and the world “out there”. All of our participants are covered by comprehensive medical and travel insurance and are accompanied by bilingual group leaders who are on call 24/7 during the month, in case of emergency.

Want to learn more about becoming a host family?

For more information, contact our local coordinator!

Nancy Hickson
Phone: (803) 215.5525
E-mail: info@speakandtravel.es

To request information by email please provide your contact details:

CONSENTIMIENTO PARA EL TRATAMIENTO DE DATOS PERSONALES

En cumplimiento de lo establecido en el artículo 13 del Reglamento 2.016/679, de 27 de abril, del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, General de Protección de Da-tos le informamos de los siguientes extremos: Responsable: María Pola Fraile (Speak and Travel). Finalidad: organización de las comunicaciones telemáticas con alumnos, padres o tutores de alumnos, empresa clientes, proveedores, organismos oficiales y, en general, con cualquier otro tercero con quien se mantenga este tipo de comunica-ciones. Legitimación: el interés legítimo para el desarrollo de la actividad del Responsable del tratamiento y el propio consentimiento del interesado. Destinatarios: no se prevé realizar comunicaciones o cesiones de datos. Derechos: acceder, rectificar y suprimir los datos, así como otros derechos como se indica en la información adicional.

He leído y acepto las condiciones para el tratamiento de datos personales

Why host?

You will create a bond with a teen that could last forever. His or her family would love to continue the relationship for years. Suddenly you will have family in Europe, whom you might want to visit and get to know better. Your kids and all the family members will experience the differences in the way people live and interact. Every day of the month will be full of emotions and new discoveries. It is an amazing experience for everyone involved!

It is a short hosting experience, but long enough to learn about Europe and Spain, and plenty of time to show your new daughter or son all about the wonderful American life.. All the sudden, the world will become smaller, and all the family members will want to learn and know more about “what is out there”!

Juan Cepeda is finally here!! We are so glad to have him back again for the month of July!!

Jon and Tammy NicholsProud host parents for Juan Cepeda two summers in a row!

We hosted last year, and it was a great experience with a wonderful teenager. How often can you say wonderful and teenager in the same sentence?

Susan FittipaldiSweet Host Mom of Sergio

We love Jaime and we would love to have him back.

Scarlett HerbkersmanProud host Mom of Jaime Cabal

“Smarta” is just like another one of our daughters!. She was a joy to have in our home.

Jeff and Kathy Norris Proud host parents of Marta Fernandez in 2015 and 2016!

Hosting Miguel has been an incredible experience for the whole family and all my children! We love Miguel and we will miss him dearly.

Ginger Keenan Proud host Mom of Miguel Martinez twice!

Our Students

Every summer since 2015, Speak and Travel has brought a group of students from Spain to stay with amazing host families around the CSRA and Greenville. There will be a total of 25 students traveling with the group:  boys and girls, 13 to 17 years old.

All the students are carefully screened and they must pass a personal interview to be accepted in the program. During the interview, they have to speak English to make sure that they will be able to communicate and understand the host family upon arrival.

Students are enthusiastic and they are all very excited about having the opportunity to share their culture with other teenagers. But mainly, they are eager to learn all about the US, its culture, language and the American way of living! They receive an orientation session before they travel to make sure that they understand the program. This must be a true learning and cultural exchange experience for everyone involved.

Students travel with full medical insurance, spending money and with a chaperone that is on call 24/7 during the entire stay.

What we expect?

Before the student arrives:

  • Be prepared to receive a new family member into your lives.
  • Understand the program rules that the student must follow.
  • Be ready to receive communications and a letter from the teen, so that you will start knowing them before they arrive.

During the Exchange:

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment for trust and friendship to develop between the student and your family.
  • Support and make the student feel like a part of your family, with the same privileges and obligations.
  • Encourage the student to learn and participate in the ways of your home.
  • Provide room and board for the student. All students must have their own bed. If the student must share a room, it should be with a child of the same gender.
  • Recognize the student’s birthday and other special occasions.
  • In case of an emergency, have access to a copy of the student’s passport and insurance card.
  • Maintain close contact with the Representative, and address problems and concerns quickly.
  • Exercise supervisory and parental responsibility to ensure the student’s well-being.
  • Encourage involvement in community life by introducing the student to neighbors, friends, and local groups.
  • Teach the student about the local culture, and learn about the student’s culture.

Faq´s

1. Do students coming speak English?

Yes, they do, even though the main reason for them to come is the desire to speak the language better. Kids from Spain learn English in School since they are 5 years old. However, American accent might be difficult for them, and you will find yourself helping them a lot at the beginning. But you will understand each other perfectly, and the language barrier will slowly get smaller.

2. Do students have responsibilities?

Of course, they do. Students are expected to adapt to the host families lifestyle and ground rules and to participate in family activities. Our students know that this program is not a trip or a tour, but a home stay that requires a little effort that will result in learning. Students are expected to help out with family chores. Do not hesitate to ask them. They will even feel more involved in the family life.

3. What do the students bring money for?

Students have their own pocket money, provided by their natural families. The students will take care of their own expenses and recreation such as movies and bowling (We ask that every student has at least $400 a month of spending money). You will not be asked to give them any money. If the family makes any plans that could involve a cost (eating out, tickets for theaters or amusement parks, etc), please, feel free to ask them for their part.

4. What if my student gets sick or needs medical attention?

The Speak and Travel Program is covered by full medical insurance. Any liability is the responsibility of the organization. Host families are not responsible for the teen’s health and are not responsible for taking medical decisions. If in doubt, you will be given a telephone number to call for the accompanying person traveling with them from Spain. She will be in charge of all the necessary decisions, and in permanent contact with the natural families.

5. What happens if the student and family relationship does not work out?

If a student and host family have a misunderstanding, the accompanying representative will provide counsel and support. If a host family has an insurmountable difficulty or an unexpected change in family life, the Representative will arrange for another placement for the student.

6. How old are the students who participate?

Students are 13 to 17 years old when they enter the U.S.

7. Do I need to secure a visa for my visitor?

No, you don’t. People from Spain can stay in the USA for up to 90 days for visiting purposes, without requiring a visa. Any travel document will be arranged by Speak and Travel prior to arrival.

8. What is required of the host family?

• Have two or more host family members, married or related by blood. It is ideal to have children or other teenagers in the family, neighbors with kids, or to be able to make arrangements for the teen to interact with people of his or her age.

• Host parents must be a minimum of 25 years of age.

• Provide the students with a bed and space to store their clothes. The student may not share a bed. The student may share a room, but only with a host sibling of the same gender who is within five years of the student’s age.

• Provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the student. The student is prepared to pay for the meals while eating out.

• Do not leave student alone for too long during the day. We understand that the family parents might be at work during the day. If that is the case, try to have things for the student to do or other people to stay. Students will be open to do anything to fill their time, but too many hours of loneliness could end up in a bad experience for them.

• Make arrangements for them as you would make for your own kids, no more than that. Doing too many things for them or with them would put too much pressure on you and your family. You all have to enjoy every minute of it. Students only expect to be part of your family.

9. Can young children benefit from hosting?

Many of the students accepted into the program indicate an interest in being placed in host families with small children. As for your own children, their facility for learning a language is never greater than when they are young; and their interest, curiosity and acceptance of people different from themselves is strongest at a young age.

10. Are we good candidates for hosting?

Students enjoy living on farms, in small towns, suburbs and big cities. Every community offers the opportunity for friendship and learning. Whether you are a married couple with children at home, an empty nester or a grandparent, as long as you have some extra love to go around, that’s all you need!

11. How much does hosting cost?

Your financial responsibility is quite minimal. If you can afford food on the table, that’s basically enough. Your exchange student’s natural parents will pay for all travel costs, program fees and health insurance.

12. How will our exchange student get around?

Speak and Travel understands that you are very busy with work responsibilities. Our students are not allowed to drive. They often make friends who drive. Host family members are not expected to be chauffeurs, but to simply offer the students a ride when it is convenient and help them make alternative arrangements.

13. What kind of support will Speak and Travel give the host family and exchange students?

Speak and Travel is the only Organization who has a representative who travels with the students from Spain to the USA, and stays in the area during the four weeks. The representative knows the students before the trip to the US, and also knows all the natural families. The Area Representative will maintain regular contact with students, and will provide support at all times. There will be a telephone number, available 24/7 in case of emergency.

14. Am I the exchange student’s legal guardian?

No. The student’s natural parents remain legal guardians. The student’s program takes legal responsibility for the student during the program. Each student will bring a medical release form so that Host Parents may secure medical treatment in the case of an emergency.

15. Can our student drive while living here?

Our students will be 13 to 17 years old. In Spain, they must be 18 years old to be able to drive. Students may NOT drive a car while on program.

16. How long is the student’s stay?

They will be there for 28 days. Students will be arriving at the end of June (dates to be confirmed but always before July 4th), and they will stay for four weeks. Students will arrive in Charlotte (NC). Transportation arrangements will be made from Charlotte to your area. A pick up point will be announced a few weeks before arrival. Speak and Travel will also organize two tours for them: two days in Atlanta, and two days in Myrtle Beach.