HOMESTAY ACCOMMODATION INFO
A Home Stay Coordinator will help establish a support network for students, student’s families and their local host families. The Coordinator will help find appropriate accommodation for the students. A stable and supportive home environment is essential if students are to succeed at their studies and surfing.
Guardians Living Overseas
It is a condition of enrolment for Home Stay students that parents/caregivers living overseas at any stage of your child’s enrolment in the Surfing Academy, nominate guardians resident in New Zealand, whom the school can contact.
You And Your Host Family
Your Raglan Host family will be like all other families. They will have times of joy, times of conflict and times of just being together.
There is no formula for an individuals relationship with the host family. It is a matter of whatever is comfortable for you and your family. Be alert to the way your host family works and try to blend in and cooperate as well as you can.
Accept that you will have to fit in with the lifestyle of a family different from your own. It may be hard at first but it is the most important part of your stay.
Be open and frank in relationships with your family. Ask the family to be honest with you. Your family may be hesitant to do so because they are afraid of hurting your feelings or embarrassing you.
If you do not understand something or there is a misunderstanding, discuss it straight away. Remember, communication is the most important skill you have in this situation.
Life With Your Host Family
Following are some helpful hints and advise to make your stay with the your host family a positive one.
Remember that a rental charge is paid for home telephones. There is no extra charge for local calls. Toll calls (long distance and overseas) are very expensive. You should not make a toll call without asking your family’s permission and you should let them know how you intend to pay for calls. It may even be worth considering one of the deals offered by the telephone companies for cheap calls.
A phone card for public telephones can be purchased from Post Shops, Stationery shops and dairies. It is a good idea to carry one at all times or of course have a mobile phone.
Most public telephones use Telecom cards.
Eating from the Refrigerator
Remember this is ‘Boarding, not Hoteling’. So good communication is essential.
Food in the refrigerator is not necessarily available for general consumption so please do not take food from the fridge or cupboard unless you have asked whether it is alright for you to help yourself.
When you are making your lunch or using the food, if it is the last of that product in the house make sure it is OK for you to have it. Your host might be keeping it with another use in mind.
In most families everyone shares the housework chores. You should expect to help daily with some jobs around the house.
- Preparing the vegetables for dinner
- Washing and drying dishes
- Bringing firewood inside
- Taking out rubbish
- Mowing lawns
- Washing your own clothes
- Setting the table
You will be expected to make your bed each morning and keep your room tidy at all times. If you are unsure about how to do any household tasks, do ask. Do not let yourself get cold at night – ASK for more blankets for your bed. Communication is the key to a happy stay.
The hot water supply is usually limited so ask when an appropriate time would be to take a bath or shower. Please make sure you do not use all the hot water, by taking a long shower or having a really full bath. Consider other members of the family. After bathing/showering you are expected to clean the bath and mop up the splashes on the floor. Make sure you leave the bathroom in the condition that you found it.
Trips & Travel
Your host parents may give you permission to participate in trips and travel. Before planning any trip, please consider your host families feelings, opinions and plans. There are certain regulations which must be followed at all times.
- You may travel with your host family but must advise your coordinator where you can be contacted in an emergency, if you cannot contact your parents.
- No student may take a trip involving driving overnight or stay overnight away from home unless there has been permission given by the host family and parents/guardians.
- Where trips with teenage drivers not involving overnight stays are concerned, you host parents may use their own judgment. The drivers must have appropriate licences.
- Extended absences from school to travel or visit, are not part of this programme, and permission is usually refused. Absences for a few days with good reason are permissible, but school permission must be gained in advance.
Any of these could be considered reasons for ending the home stay partnership.
- Breaking New Zealand Laws
- Involvement with drugs
- Failure to abide by host family rules
- Failure to abide by school rules
- Personal problems which are usually best dealt with by the natural families
During your home stay time, you will encounter many new and different situations. Our support system offers advice and help through your host family, coordinator, school and written information.
We can not supply all the possible answers, but through the local support systems, we can help you acquire the skills needed to cope in complex situations.
At times we may be concerned about a student’s wellbeing. The purpose of this information is to help address your concerns and your parents’ concerns. However, it is important to remember that just as parents cannot totally protect their children from all harm; neither can we guarantee total safety, nor can we provide a manual with advice for every possible situation that a student might encounter.
It is impossible to give a set of common rules. We therefore recommend that you talk with your host family and staff from your school if you have any questions about specific personal issues.
Remember, you are coming to your host family from a family you know very well. Through your knowledge of your own family and the trust you have built with them, you may have been allowed a high level of independence. However, as a Surfing Academy Host student, you will need to learn about your new Host Family. The family will need time to build a sense of trust before they will agree to independent behaviour. This will not happen straight away, it will take time.
While you are gaining knowledge of your host family, their customs and standards of acceptable behaviour, they will want to keep you safe.
The host family is responsible for your safety. You must work on building trust between you and your host family by accepting their restrictions. Once there is a level of trust between you these restrictions usually lessen. We encourage you to discuss all the safety topics in this book with your host parents. If your host family feels uncomfortable discussing any topic then it is important that you ask your coordinator to talk about these points with you.
Personal Safety In and Around The Home
Safety practices vary considerably from one community to another, even from one family to another. Be prepared to discuss how your family copes with these issues.
- Do you keep the doors of the house locked at all times?
- If not, when should the door be locked?
- If a stranger came to the door, is it safe to open the door?
- Will I have my own house key?
- If I misplace my key, or arrive home unexpectedly to a locked house, what should I do?
- If there is a problem while I am alone at home, whom should I contact?
- Where are the emergency phone numbers listed?
- What should I do in case of fire?
- How should you respond if other young people are pressuring you to drink alcohol and you do not want to?
- If you are uncomfortable at a party and want to leave, but you are afraid of being a nuisance or acting like a prude, what should you do? What excuses should you give?
- If you want to leave the party, will your parents agree to come and pick you up? Public transport is not available in Raglan.
- If the person supposed to drive you home has been drinking too much alcohol, what should you do?
People have different views of what constitutes appropriate sexual behaviour and practice. It is important to find out what is deemed ‘suitable behaviour’.
Ask your host parents, your friends or our Home Stay Coordinator or our school councellor if you are having any difficulties with certain types of behaviour.
The best general advice regarding personal safety is:
- Get to know your host family and take seriously any concerns that they have expressed.
- Do not ignore your own instinct or feel you have to compromise your own personal behavioural values or beliefs.
Remember, this booklet is only a guide to help make your home stay at Raglan Area School successful and ensures that you can focus on your achievements in this Surfing Academy.