Supervising your Student’s Social life

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As homestay managers, CHN is responsible for providing students with a safe, secure, welcoming environment in which to learn and grow; by their agreement with CHN, hosts stand in our stead and treat these students as they would treat their own.

General Guidelines

Some host parents have asked for clearer direction on how to best supervise their students social lives. Please consider the following points regarding their life outside home and school, and share them with your student if this would be helpful:

  • Your student should discuss with you their plan for a day or an evening out, in advance, providing all details.
  • These details should include where they are going, whom they will be with and their cell numbers, when they will be home (curfew for that event), and how they will be traveling to and from their excursion. You should evaluate together whether it sounds like “a good plan.”

Considerations and Precautions

As you discuss these social opportunities with them, you will want to take a number of factors into account, as you would if they were your own children:

  • are they in good health and have they been at school all week;
  • is there anything you have planned for the family that would be compromised by their absence;
  • do you know their companions and are you comfortable with their character and judgment;
  • has your student been briefed on what you expect them to do if plans change;
  • do they know how to keep themselves safe (dress, behavior, choices);
  • is their cell phone charged and will it be on;
  • do they have your numbers and a taxi company number in their cell phones;
  • do they have $30 on them at all times to take a taxi if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, or their bus has unaccountably stopped running.

Plans should be discussed in advance in general and/or specific terms so your student may be lead through these considerations.

Facing Protests

Teens being teens, they will offer the expected ripostes if you raise an objection to what they have planned:

we have no idea what we will be doing!
everyone is doing it!
no-one else has these rules!
this is allowed in my country!
my mother say it’s OK - I have her permission!

We encourage hosts to stand by their decisions and parental instincts in the face of such protests.

Rule Bending/Breaking

Please keep in mind that you will not be the first person to suggest a responsible lifestyle is expected of each and every student: all students are bound by the Student Participation Agreement they signed before coming, and the guidelines and obligations of their student programs. Together these documents outline the expectations imposed upon students with respect to academic performance, as well as behaviour and conduct.

Unfortunately, this message is not always received. Each year we must send a few students home because of persistent breech of the SPA. We would prefer not to send students home.

Please help your students to identify legal and safe opportunities to have fun and get together with friends, and encourage them to keep the promises they made when they came here. Betraying the trust of their parents, their agency, the International Student Program, their Custodian and homestay coordinator, and their host is not “cool.” We expect better.

On the other hand, young people sometimes make the wrong decisions; encourage them to be honest with you when they do, to be in touch for a late-night pick-up if this is the safest of available options, and assure them of your understanding and support if they are prepared to take to the high road once again.

More questions?

Please be in touch with us to discuss any issues you may be experiencing with your student, and certainly any that relate to the contents to this email. We understand the rewards and challenges of homestay and it is our pleasure to support you and your student.