Depending where you volunteer for your semester with International Language Programs(ILP), you may be staying with a host family. Host families are so fun and sometimes they feel like a second family for you! After your semester living abroad with them, you are definitely going to want to tell them "Thank You!" Here are a few ideas how!
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If you can find one, bring a magnet of your city to gift your host family. They can put it on their fridge and think of you and the fun memories you made with them. Or if you feel like getting crafty, make a magnet with a picture of you all together. These are great gifts because they're inexpensive and also small (so it's perfect for packing in your suitcase).
Give them something unique to where you live. Some places are known for their honey - take them a small bottle. Does your town make really good chocolate, home-made soap or have a famous painter? Grab something that your town is known for so you can share a piece of it with them.
You can't go wrong with pictures! Whether it is a scrapbook, photo album or simply a framed picture of you together, they will love it! It will remind them of you and will bring a smile to their faces. That means you need to take pictures with them throughout your semester!
This gift is great because you don't have to worry about it while you're preparing for your semester abroad. You can just print of the photos you've taken at the end of your semester and then purchase a small frame at a souvenir stand. If you need help printing your photo, just ask one of the local friends you've met while living abroad!
Honestly, handwritten letters expressing your love and gratitude will be the most special gift you could give. If your host family does not speak English well, consider having a local friend help you translate it. Then your host family will be able to understand it fully.
Get creative and make them a piece of art to hang in their home. This totally depends on your strengths in art and what you feel like you can do. For the non-artistic people (me!) do something simple.
Get a frame and divide it down the middle. On one side paste in a map from where you are from and draw a heart around your city, on the other side paste a map of their city and draw a heart around it. A little cheesy, but super cute and it will help them feel like you are close, even after you leave.
Some of my favorite parts about my semester with ILP was my ILP group! You will get to volunteer alongside some of the greatest people, and make lifelong friendships. Click the button below to talk to a rep in the office, they can tell you all about their ILP groups and why they loved the support it brought!