LAB Frequently Asked Questions
- Can my child participate in just one part of the exchange, either hosting or traveling?
- When is a student eligible for the Spanish and French Exchanges?
- Is it possible to request that a guest or host be of the same gender as our child?
- What is the typical cost per student to travel with an exchange?
- Are there any scholarship funds available for participating in an exchange?
- How much spending money is needed during the trip abroad?
The exchanges to Barcelona, Spain and Colmar, France are open to junior and senior students who will be studying at Level 3 or above during the year they will be participating in the exchange. Because both of these exchanges are designed for language immersion, a certain level of language skill is required.
A limited fund is reserved for Pingree students who require financial support to participate in Pingree trips. Students who currently receive financial aid for tuition will receive first priority. Priority will also be given to students who are requesting this aid for the first time in the school year. Students not receiving financial aid may also apply for financial assistance for trips. Awards are granted on a case-by-case basis while funds are available. Awards may be capped if the demand for funding exceeds Pingree’s capacity to meet that demand. Please contact John Harrington in the Business Office to get more information.
- Is it convenient/easy to use a credit card or to withdraw money with an ATM card?
- Does my child have health insurance coverage when traveling with an exchange?
- Will my child’s cell phone work abroad?
- Should my child bring a laptop abroad? Is there computer access or wifi?
- What type of clothing is required for school? What should we pack?
- What if my child does not get along with their guest or host?
- Are the destinations safe?
- What kind of gifts should our child bring for host families abroad?
- Is the electricity outlet the same as in the U.S?
- What if my child is a picky eater and/or vegetarian?
- What are the expectations for student behavior during an exchange, in particular, considering that the drinking age is often younger in other countries than it is in the US?
Because each bank has specific rules and regulations, it is best to check with your own bank regarding ATM access and credit card use in a particular destination. It is strongly advised that each family alert their bank(s) to possible withdrawals or charges made in a foreign country.
Please note that some European businesses may not accept a credit card without the new security "chip." This security program is in the beginning stages right now and in general causes few difficulties.
Families must check with their health insurance provider to be sure their child is covered while traveling because each health insurance company provides different coverage and benefits. If your policy does not cover your child while traveling, we can direct you to a company that provides affordable, temporary international health insurance coverage.
Your child’s medical information will be available at all times via Sentry MD in case of an emergency.
Gifts are not required, but if your family decides to send something, we suggest a small gift of something that is local to Massachusetts, New England, or the US. We strongly urge our students to pack lightly which suggests that the gift should be small and lightweight. Liquids, such as maple syrup, are generally not the best idea.
All Pingree rules of behavior as they appear in the Student/Parent Handbook are in force during an exchange. Prior to departure, students and their parents are required to sign a behavior contract. The contract states that the student and parents understand that any infraction of the rules will result in the student’s immediate return to the United States at the additional expense of the parents. The student will also face disciplinary action upon return.
- Will Pingree organize activities for the visiting students in the evenings?
- How does the Pingree host manage homework each night during the stay?
- When hosting an international student, what should we do on weekends? What are our responsibilities to entertain?
- What do I do with my guest while I play sports, go to church, etc.?
- When hosting, what if I do not get along with my guest?
- Do the international students go to class with the host Pingree student?
- Can an exchange student ride the Pingree bus?
- Can an exchange student ride with a Pingree student driver?
The guest is expected to entertain himself while the Pingree student is working on homework and assignments. This is a good time for the guest to email home, blog about their trip, or prepare assignments for the next day’s classes and activities. Lastly, watching movies or television is one way to practice English or discover more about American culture and history.
Your family should continue to live their usual lives during the exchange visit. There is no expectation for entertaining the international guest beyond dinner with some family conversation. These students are here to participate in real American life in an American home. Everything about our life is new, different and interesting to them. Ask them about their families and share your own traditions.