Participating in the Odyssey of the Mind Homestay program offers a great opportunity for members of US and International teams to develop friendships and learn about each other’s homes and families.
Parents and coaches of an Odyssey team invite an International Team and their coaches to visit their home following the close of World Finals. This year World Finals is May 22 – 26, 2013 at Michigan State University at East Lansing, Michigan.
The Hosting team does not have to be attending World Finals to host an International Team. Most of the invitations to host are made before the US teams go to their State Competitions, so they don’t yet know if they are going to World.
Hosting an International team usually requires two to four families working together to house, feed and provide local transportation. These families are usually parents of team members and their friends. Each family will host two to four people including team members and coaches or chaperones.
Homestay Host families provide lodging, meals, some planned activities and local transportation. Some suggestions for activities: Picnics, Ball games, Swimming, Sightseeing, and of course trips to a Mall, Dollar store, Target or WalMart. A day at your team’s school is great, but be sure to clear this with the school well in advance. Schools may require that visiting students have shot records.
Generally Homestays last for 5 to 7 days following World Finals. The first day is usually lost in travel from World Finals to the host team’s hometown and the last day is devoted to departure, so a 5 day stay really allows for 3 full days for the teams to be together.
Transportation costs and arrangements to and from the city of the host family are the responsibility of the International team. Once the International team has arrived in the host’s city, they are dependent on the hosting families for local transportation.
If you are interested in hosting an International team contact Homestay Coordinator Tom Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.