Frequently asked questions

When registering, we offer you:  1000 points as a welcome gift to test our services

Table of contents

Connecting U
What are Connecting U’s values?
About Us
How to start with Connecting U?
Registration
Profile management
My points
My private messages

Homestays
What is a homestay?
How to qualify to use the homestay offer?
How can you make sure of the reliability of the hosts and of the travelers?
As a host, what are my commitments?
As a traveler, what are my commitments?
On what criteria a host is rated?

The points and payment system
What is free of charge?
But why do I have to pay 4€/night for the accommodation if it is free?
How can I earn points?
When are my points deducted?
When will I receive my points?
What will I have to pay during my trip?
When will I have to pay the handling fees?

Local advice
What if I don’t want to be hosted by a local, but that I need advice on my destination?
Meet-Up
What is Meet-Up?
How does Meet-Up work?
Meet-Up points scale

Linguistic Practice
What do you mean by linguistic practice? How does it work?

Members
But who are the members?

Sponsorship
What are the other advantages than the trust-relationship brought to the community?

Deleting my account
How can I delete my account?

Customer Support
How does the customer support work?

Charter of commitment Connecting U member
Terms & Conditions

Connecting U

It is a collaborative platform for homestays and shared cultural experiences. Connecting U ‘s goal is to bring people together through their culture & traditions, to build a better world where each and every one gets to become a better person when connecting to their neighbor. It is a community based on cultural-sharing and self-help. Each Connecting U member is volunteer when they offer a service: a linguistic practice, a piece of advice, a Meet-Up, an accommodation. They do not receive any money for it.

Presentation video

What are Connecting U’s values?

This project is GREAT because it is humanist and social. We want to build bridges where others build walls or leave Europe. We have at heart to embody the values we want Connecting U to wear.
G oodwill and helpfulness towards our members to offer them the best possible experience.
R esponsability to provide entire satisfaction and bring you personalized answers to any of your requests.
E fficiency of our services with a committed team really passionate about cultural experiences.
A udacity to innovate by your side and to offer you a unique and unforgettable experience with enhanced services.
T aking you to a whole new experience through our two platforms: B to C & B to B

About Us

We are a team made of experienced people passionate about traveling that have worked in international companies with a strong will to democratize language learning and homestays.  Daïna, Patrick and Pascaline are currently part of our team.
Daïna has 24 years of expertise in customer relations and transformation in international environments. What her friends say about her : caring, energetic and she wants to change the world!
Patrick has 30 years of experience in sales management and in implementing BUs internationally. The 2 valued qualities he looks for in others: curiosity and integrity.
As for Pascaline, she is the Community Manager. She is an expert in homestays. She spent 3 years living abroad, travels and stays with locals and she also hosts travelers.  She loves traveling by hitch hiking and participate to lots of intercultural events everywhere she goes. It allows her to connect to the people she meets.

Registration

To register, you need to click on “Sign up” on the top right corner of the home page. Then you have to complete the registration form. It will only take you a minute.
Notice: if some fields stay empty, the registration form will not be validated and you will stay on the same page.
Other option: sponsorship. If you have received a sponsorship link, you just have to click on the link and to fill in the registration form. To know more about the sponsorship system, go to the “sponsorship” section at the end of the FAQ.
Once you are registered on the website, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to activate your account.  (Do not forget to check your Spam inbox if after some time you still haven’t got any email in your main inbox).
You can now enjoy our offers!

Profile management

Once connected, to access your profile you have to click on “my profile” when you are on the dashboard, or you can also click on your picture located on the top right corner of the screen.
On this page you will be able to change your profile picture, your linguistic settings and any other personal information.
At the top of the page, you have a link that gives you access to your public profile, and just above, you have the sponsorship link that you can send to your contacts to sponsor them and earn points.
On the left side of your screen, the two arrows forming a circle allow you to access your transaction dashboard regarding your points (credited and debited points). The star gives you access to your comments and ratings dashboard that you either received from other members or that you gave.

My points

To access your points, you have to go to the home page and click on “my point”. You can also access it from your profile, on the left side : just click on the double arrows forming a circle.
It is then on this dashboard that you will be able to see which points have been debited or credited according to the service you used.


My private messages

To access to your private messages, you can click on the top right of your screen on the speech bubble icon, or from the home page clicking on “my private messages” button. Once the page is open on your private messages, you can write a new message to one of our members and search for their name. You can have access to your current and past conversations and pick the one you want from the left column to answer it or send a message.


My transactions

There are two types of transactions: the one regarding your points to use any of our services, and the other one regarding the handling fees for the hosting offer.
To check your point-based transaction, just go to the home page and click on “my points” or on your profile clicking on the double arrows forming a circle. As for the handling fees transaction for our hosting offer, you can check it in the tab “hosting” and then “my transactions”. Here, you will be able to see the amount paid for the handling fees as well as the number of points credited/debited.

Homestays

 

What is a homestay?

It is an authentic stay. You are staying at locals’ house, Connecting U members, which allows you to discover the destination of your choice while living like a local. You will be able to practice the language of the country, discover traditional dishes, their habits, and everything that makes their local culture.

How to qualify to use the homestay offer?

To enjoy the hosting offer as a traveler, you need enough points to request an accommodation to one of our hosts. Then, depending on the type of bedroom you will choose, each night spent at a host’s house will cost you between 500 and 1250 points (excluding any additional option). In addition, a handling fee of 4€ will be asked per night and per bedroom. The money will be transfered to Connecting U.
You can find below some recommendations to help you make your estimation:

●    Prestigious bedroom (4* type): 1250 points
●    Private bedroom for 1 to 3 persons: 1000 points
●    Shared bedroom: 500 points
●    Private bathroom: 250 additional points.
●    Garden: 250 additional points.
●    Swimming pool:  2,000 additional points.

When booking an accommodation, the following additional services can be offered by your hosts. You can find below the associated point scale:

●    Activity to which both host and travelers participate (excluding activity costs) 350 points
●    One-hour course offered by the host (language, cooking, dancing, other): 250 points
●    Vehicle disposal (excluding fuel expenses) 1000 points per day
●    Transfer for 1 to 3 persons: 1,000 points for a round-trip transfer to the train station or airport.
●    Home-made meals offered by the host: 250 points per person
●    Going out to eat: 350 points
●    Drink / coffee (excluding beverage costs): 250 points

Regarding the different expenses for the activities, each of the members pays their own. A little reminder: these services are optional; you can choose to use them or not when booking a hosting offer.

Homestays have to be carried out in accordance with the Charter of Commitment that you accepted when becoming member of Connecting U. Each member is rated to make sure the best experience is offered to all.

How can you make sure of the reliability of the hosts and of the travelers?

You choose your host family yourself and validate the applications of the travelers you receive. Each host and traveler agrees to abide to the Charter of Commitment or else will be banned from Connecting U. We lead several actions to secure your interactions and make them reliable.

Here are the 5 actions led:
1) We validate the profile of each member
2) We carry out mystery calls and visits
3) You sign a Charter of Commitment
4) You rate the host families
5) We meetup with active members to improve our offers.

 


As a host, what are my commitments?

As a host, I have to fulfill 5 commitments:

1) I respect the commitment made in my offer

2) For minors and young students, I commit myself to call the parents if I have any doubt about an instruction to be applied or if I have to inform them of the slightest incident.

3) I agree to respect the health and safety regulations.

4) I follow the stipulated diet and provide my traveler with a well-balanced diet.

5) I show goodwill and make time for my guests in order to offer them an unforgettable experience.

As a traveler, what are my commitments?

As a guest, I have to fulfill 5 commitments:
1) I inform my host of my potential allergies, my dietary restrictions and if I smoke.
2) I comply with the rules of the house and I respect my host’s way of life.
3) I offer my help to my host.
4) I commit myself to inform my host on any change of schedule.
5) I ensure to not disturb or bother my host and respect the traditions of their country.
If the subscribers do not honor all of these commitments, they might be excluded from the Connecting U community.

On what criteria a host is rated?

The evaluation of the host(s) is based on the following criteria:
●    The hosting setting matched the ad.
●    My host has kept the commitments they made
●    For minors and young students, the host family called me if there was any doubt about an instruction to be applied or to inform me of the slightest incident.
●    My host fully respected the health and safety regulations.
●    My host taught me about the culture of the country and its traditions.
●    My host gave me advice in order to visit the country off the beaten paths.
●    My host was caring and made time for me so I could get an unforgettable experience.
●    Would you recommend your host(s)?
●    Additional free comment

What is free of charge?

You will not be charge to use the following offers:

●    Members list
●    Local advice
●    Linguistic Practice
●    Meet-Up
These offers are accessible through the use of your points.
Regarding the hosting offer, in addition to the points spent, you have to pay 4€ per night and per bedroom. The money will be transferred to Connecting U only.

But why do I have to pay 4€/night for the accommodation if it is free?

The 4€ are paid to Connecting U as handling fees. This money helps us to develop the community and to offer you the best possible quality.

How can I earn points?

You can earn points in 5 ways:
1) The fastest: you host travelers.
More you host travelers, the longer your travelers stay, the more you offer them services, the more you will earn points. The criteria allowing you to earn points are the following ones:
1.    The duration of the stay
2.    The number of people hosted     
3.    The environment: Private or prestigious bedroom / private bathroom / garden / swimming pool
4.    Activities offered by the host family and time spent with the travelers
5.    Meal offered by the host family
6.    Class (dancing class, cooking class, language course)
7.    Transfer (airports or train stations)

2) The most tenacious: you post articles.
For any article posted on our blog about a country, a monument to see, a good deal, a good place, a show, an event, you earn points. You just need to send us your article by email at contact.connectingu@gmail.com, to receive 125 points if we find it interesting publish it. Then, the more likes your article gets, the more points you will earn.

3) The most promotional: sponsoring
For each new sponsored member, you earn 200 points. This way you help the Connecting U community to grow. Your sponsee will also earn 200 points when registering on the website through your sponsorship link.

4) The most social: Meet-Up and local advice
Organize Meet-Ups to meet travelers, locals and share friendly moments and experiences. For each member that will participate to your Meet-Up, you will receive points from them. Furthermore, if you help travelers by answering their local advice requests, and that they choose you as the best answer, you will earn 25 points.

5) The cleverest:
Two advantages thanks to the linguistic practice: you practice your language with a person that wants to improve, so you get to share your passion and knwoledge to others, and you also earn 125 points for each linguistic practice session of 30 min, that you organize as a referent.

Can I buy points?

So far, it is not possible to buy points. You can earn points thanks to the propositions listed in the section: How can I earn points?

When are my points deducted?

When booking an accommodation, your points are debited once the payment went through. Regarding the local advice offer, points are debited once the best answer has been selected.   For Meet-Up, points are debited and credited after the member was rated, and when it comes to the linguistic practice, the transfer of points also happens after the evaluation of the referent.

When will I receive my points?

You will receive your points once the traveler paid the handling fees. Regarding the Meet-Up and the linguistic practice offers, points are credited after the evaluation of the members.  For local advice, you will only receive points if your answer is selected as the best one.

What will I have to pay during my trip?

Expenses that I will have to cover during my trip:
●    The flight
●    Round-transfer to the airport or the train station if it is not offered by the host family
●    The meals taken outside of your host family’s place.
●    On-site activities
●    Personal expenses
●    4€ handling fees per night and per bedroom

When will I have to pay the handling fees?

You have to pay the handling fees once the host confirmed your stay at their place. Then, your booking is confirmed. The handling fees depend on the number of nights you will spend at your host’s house and on the number of persons coming with you.

 

Local advice

What if I don’t want to be hosted by a local, but that I need advice on my destination?

In that case, our section “local advice” is the perfect place to get answers to all your questions!
As a member, you can ask the Connecting U community any question so the members can help you and give you the answer you are looking for.
You can ask our members about their country, the places they could recommend you to go out, good deals, sightseeing and tours, transport, traditions or any other thing that might interest you.
You do not spend any point to use this offer, only if you wish to reward more points to thank the user who brought you the best answer.
Once you rate an answer as the best one, Connecting U offers 25 points to the person who wrote that answer.  You can add additional points if you wish, to motivate members to give you excellent answers. Note that these additional points will be deducted from your points.


The points scale is explained in the “points” section.

Homestays have to be carried out in accordance with the Charter of Commitment that you accepted when becoming member of Connecting U. Each member is rated to make sure the best experience is offered to all.  

How to use local advice?

To get to the local advice section, just click on the tab located on the top of the page called “local advice”. You will be able to see all the advice requests from our members. To answer a request, you need to click on it and a window will open on the right part of your screen. You will see the answers previously brought and you will be able to answer it too. When the member who requested a local advice will have found the answer they were looking for, they can tag it as the best answer and the one who wrote the answer will receive points.
If you also need advice on something such as good deals and so on, just click on “make a request” and fill in the form. 25 points will be offered to the person who will give you the best answer, but you can decide to offer more points to boost answers.

Here, you can write the ad in different languages, selecting them one after the other. Each linguistic version will appear to members according to their linguistic profile settings.


For exemple, Mario makes a request to find the best bar in Chicago. He decides to write it in English but also in Spanish. James, who speaks only English and has he linguistic profile settings in English, will only see the ad written in English.  Whereas Maria, a mexican woman who speaks only English, will see the ad in Spanish. However, if only one linguistic version of the ad is available, then it will be seen by all members. So, if it is written in English, then James and Maria will both see the English version.

Meet-Up

What is Meet-Up?

Meet-Up is a time for people to meet and share. With Connecting U, it is about organizing meet-ups, activities, nights out between our members to share memories together, interact with each other and discover new cultures and traditions as well as special places, around a coffee or during a walk.

How does Meet-Up work?

You can either organize a Meet-Up in a place you know well, or request a Meet-Up in a place you don’t know.  If you organize a Meet-Up, the participating members to your Meet-Up will give you a certain amount of points. But if you are making a request of Meet-Up, then the agreed points on the Meet-Up offer will be debited from your account to be transferred to the member who answered your Meet-Up. The indicated number of points, depends on the type of the Meet-Up that you will offer or request. You can change this number at your convenience.


To request a Meet-Up with a sufficient amount of points, you need to post ads to offer Meet-Ups to our members, linguistic practices and hosting offers.
When members will have used your offers, you will earn points. Once you have earned enough points, you will be able to organize your own Meet-Up with members that you will have selected.

The points scale is explained in the “points” section.

Homestays have to be carried out in accordance with the Charter of Commitment that you accepted when becoming member of Connecting U. Each member is rated to make sure the best experience is offered to all.

Meet-Up points scale


●    Activities with the host family: 350 points
●    Coffee / drink: 250 points
●    One-hour lesson: 250 points
●    Vehicle disposal (excluding fuel expenses): 1000 points
●    Connecting to an expert: 250 points
●    Home cooked meals: 250 points
●    Eating out: 350 points
●    Return transfer to the train station or airport: 1000 points

Linguistic Practice

What do you mean by linguistic practice?

It is not a course, but a linguistic practice with our members. Members offering linguistic practice are not qualified as teachers, they are just native speakers or speak fluently the language that they want to share with others.
To those who want to request linguistic practices, you can use this offer before, during or after a trip, or simply to improve your language skills.  

Connecting U allows you to organize 30-min video chat sessions with a native member off your choice.

•    The member offering a linguistic practice will receive 125 points from the member requesting a linguistic practice. So basically, il you offer a linguistic practice in your mother tongue, you earn points, and if you request a linguistic practice, you lose points.
•    The points scale is explained in the “points” section

How does it work?

The referent: the member offering the linguistic practice.

Just click on the “linguistic practice” tab. Then, if you want to offer a linguistic practice to members, you have to click on “become referent”. A calendar will then appear. It allows you to indicate your available time slots. To indicate them, you just need to click on the time slot chosen, and then choose the language in which the linguistic practice will be made, before validating your offer.  The time slots do not exceed 30 minutes. If you want to add more time slots you need to click on the bottom part of your 30-min time slot, and drag it further down until you reach the last moment you are available for linguistic practice.  It that way, you can indicate available time slots for a few hours.  To validate all your time slots, please click on “I confirm my time availability” at the bottom of the page.

The requesting member

If on the other hand you want to participate to a linguistic practice offered by our of our members, just go to the “I request a linguistic practice session” tab and choose your referent among the available members. When you have made a decision, click on “contact” to select the available time slots that suits you best and click on it to request it. Once the time slots chosen, just validate your request. Consider that if the time slots are available to the referent, they will be automatically accepted when you request them. However, the offering member of the linguistic practice can cancel if in the end they are not available anymore. It also goes for you, the requesting member, if you are not available anymore on the relevant time slot.
N.B: time zone is actually the time zone of the offering member. If the referent offering the linguistic practice lives in metropolitan France, the time of the practice will correspond to the time zone of metropolitan France. But, if the referent lives in Canada, it will be a different time zone.


Time is up!

A few minutes before the linguistic practice, you will receive an email inviting you to connect to the platform to not miss your appointment. To join the linguistic practice, go to the “linguistic practice” tab and to “discussions”. Once there, select your referent in the left column and the time slot corresponding to your practice. Once the conversation tab is open, you can send them a message and start the session by clicking on “start the linguistic practice”. A new window will open and you will be able to see your referent thanks to the video chat session.  Little reminder: they are only 30 min practice sessions.

After the practice, the evaluation:

Once the linguistic practice is over, the member who requested a linguistic practice will be able to rate the referent (the one who offered the practice).  It allows Connecting U to provide the best experience to our members thanks to the reviews that you will give to other members.
Homestays have to be carried out in accordance with the Charter of Commitment that you accepted when becoming member of Connecting U. Each member is rated to make sure the best experience is offered to our whole community.

Members

But who are the members?

They are people who just like you, use Connecting U to expand their international network. They could be your colleagues, your neighbors, strangers, foreigners, expats, parents, families, young adults, retired, travelers.

●    You can interact with them according to your interests, your language, your city or the evaluations received.

●    You do not spend any point to use this offer!

You can access our members by clicking on the “members” tab on the top of your screen. On this page you can search members according to their interests, the languages they speak, their city, their country and their evaluations. You can see their complete profile by clicking on their picture. You will see all their information. You will be able to contact them and get to know them.

Homestays have to be carried out in accordance with the Charter of Commitment that you accepted when becoming member of Connecting U.  

Sponsorship

Sponsorship allows the Connecting U community to grow in a reliable environment. You sponsor people that you know and would recommend, or you are sponsored by one of our members. The sponsee will then be able to access the whole community and our offers.
To sponsor someone, it is very easy: you simply need to share the sponsorship link to your friends and family. You can find the link on your profile.

N.B: the sponsorship program only works on the B to C platform and not on the B to B one. If you have a Connecting U account with your company, the sponsorship link will benefit your friends and family that will be able to connect on the B to C platform. If you want to connect with your sponsee, then you have to create an account on the B to C platform.  

What are the other advantages than the trust-relationship brought to the community?

When you use the sponsorship link, as a sponsor or as a sponsee, you earn 200 points when the sponsee registers on Connecting U. So, you both earn 200 points.  
The more you sponsor people, the more points you will earn. 

Deleting my account

How can I delete my account?

To delete your account, please send a request to the website admins. You can do it via the form contact that you can find on our landing page (once logged out of Connecting U).


Customer Support

How does the customer support work?

You can contact our customer support by email. We commit ourselves to respond in 48 hours and you can contact us at this email address: contact@connecting-u.com

You can also contact us by phone: 00 33 6 25 97 36 20 from 9 am to 8pm (metropolitan time zone), Monday to Saturday.  


Charter of Commitment Connecting U member

Dear member, when subscribing to Connecting U, you can access to all our offers and you can post your ads.
We invite you to read our charter and to accept its terms in order to confirm your registration.
 
I commit myself to the terms and conditions as follows to offer the best experience to Connecting U members:
●    I stick to the commitments I made in my ads
●    I show goodwill, I am helpful and stay open with other members during our interactions
●    I conform to the house rules, hygiene rules and the local traditions
●    I follow the rules and commitments made with the other members
●    I share all needed information and recommendations to the good achievement of the services

If I do not follow completely these commitments, I shall be subject to banishment from the Connecting U community

Connecting U: the culture of sharing around the world  
 
 
We are happy to welcome you among our members and we thank you for helping us to offer the best experience.
 
The Connecting U Team

Terms & Conditions

To access it, click here: https://connecting-u.com/conditions-generales