Effective Techniques For Composing An Essay About A Host Family

You may have been asked to write an essay about a host family. This task is slightly different to being asked to write a letter to a host family, with the aim of introducing oneself as a companion, nanny or au pair.

In a letter you would be focussing on your personality, your interests and qualifications. In an essay about a host family your focus would be on sharing information with other students: your tutor or as part of an awareness project.

  • Start by:
    • Checking out the instructions you have been given for the essay; such as word count; whether you can use any pictures; any other instructions your tutor may have given to you. Your essay should follow the usual format of Introduction, Main and Conclusion,
    • Take a bit of time to brainstorm the topic. Once you have done that you can then consider 3-4 areas that you may like to develop to use as a focus for your writing. Be realistic, don't try to cover all aspects of being a host family.
  • Developing the theme:
    • Make sure that your Introduction is captivating and engaging. You could start with an anecdote, a quote or a piece of information that relates to the experience/situation/language or culture
    • You may decide to focus on your own feelings prior to meeting the host family: or you may choose to hone in on the preparations that the host family or you will have had to make prior to meeting.
  • What you should not do:
    • People who decide to become host families have probably gone out of their way to accommodate visitors and although they may get paid for the service they provide they probably go above and beyond what is expected of them.
    • When writing your paper, take the time to consider how the host family would feel if they read your work. Make sure you are considerate of their feelings and their situation. Be realistic in your expectations.
  • What you should do:
    • Focus on the similarities and the differences that exist in where you and the host family live. Discuss some of the hobbies and interests that you may share. Talk about topics such as food and culture.
    • Discuss education, employment and family dynamics. Help your reader to understand how difficult it is for the hosts to open they doors to a stranger and have them live as part of their family. Put yourself in their position.

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