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    Case Study 1

    Teachers and programme coordinators from Italy, Spain and Sweden share their experience in identifying prospective hosting families for exchange students in all three countries.

    Target audience: 

    • Teachers 
    • School administrators 
    • Students 
    • Parents

    Reflective Exercise:

    Having watched Case Study 1 Video discuss and reflect with colleagues and peers the lessons learned from the shared experience of the DEEDS pilot implementations. In doing so document and brainstorm on the prevailing ground realities of your school’s context and community on the following aspects:

    1.1 – The importance and added value of hosting families in the overall mobility experience of students:
    • Hosting families as a medium and a factor contributing to the smooth transition and integration of students to their new school environments.
    • Opportunities for intercultural exchange and sharing.
    • Ongoing support and facilitation of exchange students in their day-to-day lives in a new setting,
    • Mobilities beyond the confined boundaries of a classroom – pursued common activities and informal learning within and among hosting families.
    1.2 – Criteria of selection for hosting families:
    • family composition,
    • socioeconomic situation,
    • traits, mindset, and characteristics of the family,
    • hosting premises,
    • dietary habits of both families and exchange students,
    • pets & allergies,
    • previous hosting experience.
    1.3 – Planning and communication in onboarding hosting families:
    • communicating the objectives and value of the mobility,
    • fostering a community of practice surrounding the various actors involved in the planning of an exchange programme,
    • developing a sense of ownership and an environment of acknowledgement of prospective contribution and participation,
    • reaching out to families and the school community well in advance,
    • bringing together families and students (video presentations, letters, teleconferences),
    • providing support both priorly as well as during the exchange,
    • incentivising hosting families,
    • background checks, premise visits, supportive documentation.
    1.4 – Arising challenges:
    • derailment and cascading effects in the execution of a mobility plan – when families are not available,
    • cultural particularities which may ease or complicate the onboarding process (average home coverage, smaller homes in the North, larger in the South etc.),
    • the need of hosting family members to travel or be absent,
    • the challenges of a longer than usual duration of an exchange,
    • preferences of hosting families (nationalities, gender, age etc.),
    • lack of hosting reciprocity among families with different cultural backgrounds,
    • additional family costs pertaining to the hosting of an exchange student,
    • how to devise and test solutions to the aforementioned challenges,
    • school and community context particularities to take into consideration.
    1.5 – From the perspective of a hosting family:
    • motivating families to host exchange students,
    • advantages and benefits deriving from hosting exchange students,
    • the possible challenges of hosting an exchange student,
    • the preparation required preparation and logistics in hosting an exchange student.
    1.6 – From the perspective of a student:
    • expectations of their new home setting,
    • tackling with the challenges of a new home environment,
    • an opportunity of enculturation, bond and connection with the hosting family.

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