Safety & security procedures
2003 we started developing our culture and language exchange programs. This gave us a great amount of experience to set up a strict screening system for Homestay studentsand host families.
Your safety and security is our prime concern - so we have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your placement without worrying about your safety.
We take your security abroad very seriously. China is generally a very safe country and the people are very welcoming to foreigners. However, it is also the responsibility of Homestay students to treat people with respect, understand cultural differences and follow the law. Everybody is different, and it will take varying amounts of time to adjust to the change in cuisine and weather.
Once Homestay students have been accepted through our application process, we will set up an interview. During this interview Homestay China will give Homestay students a first cultural training and provide them with information about our programs, locations and our host families. After that Homestay students will receive insurance and visa details and advice on how to be safe and healthy in China.Our highly experienced staff is always available to give advice and answer any questions Homestay students may have - both before they come and while they are here.
Before their arrival Homestay students will be provided their placement details. These include addresses and numbers of their host families, and details regarding their placement and supervisor.
Overseas Staff and Offices
Our local staff organizes the details of the placements and accommodation according to strict criteria and high standards. They are there to assist with any concerns and problems that may arise during thei students' time here. They are available during the day at the office and directly contactable 24 hours a day by phone. Homestay students will be joining an orientation day and a course about cultural differences, culture shock, teaching methodology, etc. Our qualified staff members from overseas have experience in dealing with cultural differences and adjusting to new environments.
Contact Between Staff and Homestay participants
Our placement staff regularly visits host families and participants to ensure that everything is running smoothly. On arrival our staff will make a final check that the host families' accommodation and arrangements for the student's placement are acceptable. Participating in the cultural training course offered by Homestay China helps the students to adjust to their new living situation in a foreign country. After the first week, we actively check on the status of every participant and host family on a monthly basis.
There is an intensive interviewing process which we apply to all our families that are interested in participating in a homestay program. When families or Homestay students apply for the homestay program we set up an interview first to see whether or not they are qualified. This includes criminal history, financial, and background checks. All accommodations are checked regularly by our staff. Accommodation is considered acceptable if it is clean, hygienic and comfortable. Detailed records are kept of every host family, which are updated after inspection visits. Checks are made before and during the program.
Our staff works closely to ensure the Homestay participants understand the purpose of the Homestay China program. After the interview with Homestay China, we will give them the basic information of the family, and arrange to "meet" the family though e-mail and skype. If neither the host family or the candidate is satisfied, a new match will be found.
Meeting on arrival
The host family member and a staff member of Homestay China will meet you at the airport. We will be carrying a Homestay China sign with your name on it to ensure that you do not get lost upon arrival. The host family will help you to get back to the airport or train station at the end of your stay.
All participates will have an orientation day about China and Kunming. It generally includes:
A Welcome Pack with details of the local office, other participants, maps, mobile phone SIM card and other useful information (such as banks, doctors, and public transport);
A tour of the area on local transport that you'll need to use regularly;
A nice lunch with our Homestay China team;
We'll advise you on local customs and what to expect while you are away and help you feel confident in your new environment.
Health and Insurance
All of our participants are covered by our comprehensive medical and travel insurance. If a participant becomes ill, our staff will be on hand to assist with hospital arrangements and insurance liaison and will, of course, make sure that the patient is comfortable.