Many students have found the Meet-A-Family (MAF) programme to be a major part of their Harlaxton experience. Since 1983, MAF has provided American students with a British “home away from home”. Students have the opportunity to become more familiar with British customs and traditions through time with a British family. The families, in return, learn about American culture, enjoy very nice events at the Manor, and develop lasting friendships with their students. Several British families have even travelled to the US for personal holidays, graduations, weddings, and christenings, visiting their American “children” in their American homes.
British families volunteer for this programme, as do the American students. Each of our families is unique: some have young children, some are single professionals, others are retired. But, then, all our American students are unique, too, and we seek to match persons of similar interests, backgrounds, and values. Some families request one student, some two, some several.
For registered students, you apply for the program on line before you arrive at Harlaxton. Here’s how:
You then meet your family in a reception and dinner in “your house,” Harlaxton Manor, early in the semester. At this first meeting, you bring your calendars, your family brings their “diaries,” and you set times during the semester when you will get together—usually in the British family’s home. Some families and students meet frequently, others only two or three times during the term. (It is very, very important that you keep appointments and stay in communication with your host family. We have lost families from the programme because students didn’t show up when the family had gone to the trouble and expense of preparing a nice meal. You really don’t want to be rude like this, making yourself and all students and all Americans look bad.)
Then, after going to their house, you host your British family again in your house at a wonderful “Harlaxton Family Christmas” in the fall (where we go carolling in our little village after dinner, in the old fashioned English way) or at a “Meet-a-Family Fest” in the spring (where our Harlaxton Collegiate Choir performs for our families and other guests).
Meet a Family is a great cultural and personal experience and a special opportunity for students coming to Harlaxton.
Last Updated: 23/08/2011 4:37 PM