Canadian Summer School in Germany
The host families are a vital and integral part of the CSSG program. Many students feel they learn as much German from their host family as in the classroom. Our host families are chosen and matched with great care. Most of our families stay with the program for many years. They enjoy not only the interaction with the student, but also learning about Canada and intercultural issues. One host mother told the Director that she had learned a great deal about what it means to be German from her Canadian guest.
Each student will have their own room with a family. Some of our families provide rooms for more than one student.
We have high expectations of the host family and of the student in this new relationship. As a student, you can expect the host family to provide you breakfast and supper on school days and all meals on weekends. (On school days, students will be responsible for their own lunches. The university cafeterias offer a good selection of food at extremely reasonable prices.) You can expect a comfortable room with a bed and desk. You can expect your host family to do (or help you do) your laundry (please see Survival Tips). Upon your arrival in Kassel, you can expect your host family to show you how to find the university and the best transit route. Do not expect to have internet access in the home. You will have it on campus.
Our expectations of the student (host families):
- We expect you to acquaint yourself with and respect the rules and ways of doing things in the host family household. This includes letting the family know when you will not be home for meals and notifying your host family when you plan to spend the night elsewhere, so that we do not have to alert the police. :)
- You must check with your host family before you invite other students over for a party.
- We also expect you to pitch in and help with the dishes, tidying up (particularly your own stuff), and other small household tasks. (We do not pay the host families enough to be your maids :)
- We also expect you to spend some time with your host family beyond meals. Chatting with your host family is one of the best ways to improve your German.
- Please see Evaluations and Advice from Former Students for advice on how to live with your host family.
Our expectations of the student (youth hostels):
We expect you to respect all the rules and regulations, including noise and lights-out policies, in each of the youth hostels. All CSSG excursions are official CSSG functions and the student code of behaviour applies here as well.
Host family selection process
Each potential host family must apply online or in person with our contact person in Kassel. The family is then interviewed and the student’s room inspected. If our criteria are met, the family will receive a student.
Host family evaluation
All CSSG students write an evaluation of their host family at the end of the program. These evaluations are very important in determining whether the family will house a student in subsequent years.
Host family matching process
The CSSG Director takes the information gathered on the application form and in the interview and matches students, taking into account such things as allergies, special dietary needs, hobbies, and other interests.
Once a student is matched to a host family, information and photos (if available) are exchanged. The student can also obtain the email address of the student or students who have previously stayed with that particular host family from the CSSG Director.