Hosting Visitors to Chippenham
When we receive a visit from Friedberg or La Flèche, it's mainly Association members who act as hosts during these visits but we do encourage non-members to be hosts as well.
A good many long-standing relationships have been formed through twinning over the last couple of decades but there are always new visitors seeking the twinning experience and for whom fresh hosts are always in demand.
The following sets out to answer your questions and give some idea of what you would be committing to if you agreed to host. Hopefully it will also offer reassurance and persuade you that hosting could be both a worthwhile and rewarding experience - and fun too!
What to expect
Hosts usually find that having guests from La Flèche and Friedberg is an enjoyable experience, providing the opportunity to meet people from a different country and learn something of how their life differs from ours.
However, the thought of having someone staying in your home who you have never met before can be rather daunting. Many questions may arise like "Will they speak our language?", "What if we don't get on?", "Do they eat the same food as us?", "What do I have to do to look after them?", "Will it cost a lot?"
Chippenham Twinning Association takes great care to match hosts and guests as closely as possible.
Matching Guests to Hosts
Before you agree to host either an individual or family you will be asked about your preferences. For example;
- How many people can you accommodate and of what age?
- Must your guest(s) be non-smokers?
- Can you accommodate a disabled person or someone with limited mobility?
- How fluent do they need to be in English (you may be relieved to know that many speak English well)?
- Can you cater for any special dietary requirements they may have?
- Can you accompany them if they want to go sightseeing in the local area?
You will also be able to tell us of any special requirements you may have.
We then use this information with that provided by the visiting town representatives to allocate visitors to hosts.
We will then give you information about your guests and you can then get in touch with them directly if you wish. It is more usual, though, for the guests to contact hosts directly and introduce themselves.
How Much Will It Cost?
It isn't easy to be specific about this, but here are some points to give you some idea how much a visit would cost. A visit usually lasts from three to five nights, always including a weekend, and you would be asked to provide accommodation and food for this period. You may also want to take your guests out sightseeing or to a local pub etc.
Normally, of course, you would expect to pay for this although if your guest offers to contribute it would be for you to decide whether or not to accept.
The Twinning Association will fund the cost of your guest at any event it organises. Naturally we hope you would want to join in our programme, although you do not have to, and you would be asked to cover the cost of just your own attendance at the events you come to.
During the Visit
What activities you undertake with your guests is entirely up to you. However, where the Twinning Association have programmed an event (trip out, meal etc.) we do ask that, wherever possible, your guests attend. Hopefully you will come along too, but if you don't want to, we do ask that you arrange to get your visitors to the event rendezvous and collected from there afterwards.
Visits usually end on a Monday or a Tuesday morning and you should ensure your guests get to the departure point in good time so as not to delay the journey home.
After the Visit
Would I be expected to join the Twinning Association if I host?
No - although, of course, we hope your experience with hosting and with meeting members of the Association would encourage you to do so.
Will I be expected to host again?
Not unless you want to. But we do hope you enjoy your hosting experience and make good enough friends with your guests to want to do so. Similarly, if you enjoyed hosting and want to do it again but would rather host a different family in the future this can be arranged.
Hosting does not commit you to taking part in Chippenham Twinning visits to La Flèche or Friedberg, but again we would hope that your experience of twinning would encourage you to do so.