Creating meaningful connections between international students and host families is a crucial aspect of successful study abroad experiences. Over the years, the Cambridge Network has been dedicated to facilitating these relationships, but we have realized that more could be done to optimize student-host family matches. In response to valuable feedback from hosts and own experiences, the network has implemented an innovative approach by utilizing student profiles to bridge the information gap. Let’s explore how the Cambridge Network is revolutionizing the matching process to provide hosts with a better understanding of potential students and enhance their overall experience with Student Profiles.
The Need for Better Information
In the past, we have faced challenges with limited information about students that could be shared with potential hosts. Without adequate details, hosts found it difficult to envision the student who would be living in their home, leading to reduced interest and excitement. Consequently, the support team also struggled to engage hosts when they knew little about the student in question. Recognizing the importance of forging meaningful connections, the network sought ways to overcome these obstacles and make the matching process more effective.
Strategic Profile Design
To address these challenges, our team devised a strategic approach to gather essential information from students while ensuring the process was user-friendly. We realized that extensive forms requiring lengthy responses might deter students from participating actively. As such, the new student profile system focuses on multiple-choice questions and short-answer queries, making it convenient for students to complete.
By utilizing these student profiles, we can now offer hosts more than just basic details about potential students. The profiles provide insights into students’ interests, hobbies, and personalities, enabling hosts to see them as unique individuals rather than just foreign students. This humanizing aspect encourages hosts to become more engaged and interested in welcoming these students into their homes.
The Importance of Pictures
While the information provided in the profile is vital, we understand that pictures can speak volumes. To create an emotional connection, students are encouraged to share pictures of themselves on various adventures or simply spending time with their families. This section of the profile is especially crucial as it allows hosts to put a face with a name, fostering an immediate sense of familiarity.
Breaking Down Barriers
The updated matching process helps break down cultural barriers and fosters a sense of empathy and understanding between hosts and students. With a better grasp of a student’s background and interests, hosts can prepare for the arrival of their new housemate and create a welcoming environment that supports the student’s integration into the community. Conversely, students gain confidence in knowing that they will be living with a host family who shares common interests or values, easing their transition into an unfamiliar country.
Ultimately, the improved student-host family matching process contributes to a more enriching study abroad experience for students. When students feel genuinely welcomed and cared for by their host families, they are more likely to thrive academically and emotionally during their time abroad. This positive experience can also have a long-lasting impact on their lives, shaping their global perspective and fostering lifelong friendships.
For more information on how to become a host family, https://homestay.cambridgenetwork.com/become-a-host-parent/