Many questions arise when a family considers sending a child on a Network program or hosting a visiting student. Some of these questions can be answered generally, however, your best source of specific information is the Network school advisor at your home school.
Q: How long will the exchange last?
A: Visits usually last between one to two weeks.
Q: What am I expected to provide for a visiting student?
A: A visiting Network student should have his/her own bed or sleeping space, meals with the family, and should be treated like a family member as much as possible. Transportation to and from the hosting school should be worked out between the host and sending school.
Q: What am I expected to pay for?
A: The student’s family is normally expected to cover the costs of travel to and from the host school along with spending money for incidentals. The sending school advisor who arranges the exchange can help estimate these costs. The host family covers meals eaten in the host home. If the program involves meals taken outside the host home, the student should be prepared to pay for them.
Q: To what extent am I expected to entertain the Network student during free time?
A: Network students are not on vacation and should not expect host families to act as tour guides. Any outings which the host family members would enjoy taking, however, could enhance the student’s experience.
Q: Should the host and home families communicate directly?
A: The host school gives the sending school the name, address, and phone number of the host family. The hosting and sending school families will share information regarding travel, medical information, and other pertinent materials related to the exchange.
Q: Am I obligated to take a Network student if I have sent my son or daughter on an exchange?
A: Exchanges are not necessarily reciprocal but sending families should strongly consider hosting students from another Network school to help the Network of Complementary Schools organization.
Q: What should I do if the exchange doesn’t seem to be working out?
A: As in all other things, you must use your good judgment. If the problem is small and you and the host student can work it out, fine. Before a small problem becomes a difficult one, however, it is best to consult the host school advisor. The advisor is responsible for the exchange and wants to know how things are going. The advisor’s advice can be helpful in straightening out whatever misunderstanding exists. Do not hesitate to let him/her know your concerns.