September has arrived on our calendars and also at CIEE. September is the month in which we receive a new High School Abroad (HSA) group. On this occasion, five adventurers (Craddock, Emily, Francisco, Holly and Robert) will come to Madrid to develop their Bachillerato studies.
So that everything will be ready before the imminent arrival of our five students, one of the first things that the HS and GAP department does is gather the Spanish Host Families to inform them and explain all the practical information we have of the students.
This is a very important meeting for us and for the HF’s, because there are always new families who must learn the protocols for our students arrival. This year, we have two lovely families who will receive their baptism as HF’s. Patricia and Daniel with their young children, Clara and Mario; and Laura and Sergio with their kids Valentina and Eneko. We are sure that they will be excellent hosts and our students will be happy to be in their homes.
The other three families, formed by Marta and her three teenage children; Marisa and her son Jon and partner Carlos; And, finally, Carmen and Tomás, with their eldest children Álex and Claudia, will repeat experience one more year. And we are very grateful for that.
All of them went to the CIEE office in Madrid, where Patricia, Leyre and myself explained, always with anecdotes and real cases, how the stay of our students' should be in their homes. The veteran families contributed their knowledge and added a relax vibe to the meeting.
For those of us who work at CIEE, it is very nice to see how the illusion of the new HF’s is mixed with the experience of veterans. In this meeting we talk about the responsibilities of the students and the HF’s and we give advice on how to deal with the first days, which are usually the most complicated for the adaptation. We explain many practical cases that have happenedlived in the past so that any doubts were solved and everything was left clearer.
The HF’s are also informed of the arrival in Seville and the Orientation our students will receive there. The final step is the arrival to Madrid. The meeting point will be at Atocha Station. And now, yes, the adventure begins!!
In the HF's meeting we also talk about the trips that our students have scheduled and their dates. We explain the tips for the first day at the institute and how we recommend how to say goodbye at the airport. In this way, the HF’s get a global idea of what their role will be and leave feeling that they have everything under control.
The objective: that the stay in Madrid of our CIEE students with our dearest HF's be an unforgettable experience.