May 2008
Issue 1

Welcome to the first issue of the biannual newsletter of SabbaticalHomes.com. We hope this newsletter will be informative to our readers. It will be somewhat of a "work in progress" for the first few issues, and we will appreciate reader feedback to help us continue to improve our latest resource. If you have any comments or ideas for us, please email us.

The Family Sabbatical Handbook
The traveling family's survival guide to living abroad

Written by Elisa Bernick, The Family Sabbatical Handbook: The Budget Guide to Living Abroad with Your Children, is an entertaining and resourceful guide to extended travel with your children. BernickÔ€™s book provides details of her own extended stay in Mexico with her husband and two children, as well as the adventures and experiences of several other families while taking a family sabbatical. In addition, the book contains valuable information on subjects ranging from length of stay to finances, school/education to medical care and health insurance, and bridging cultural and language differences.


Receiving top reviews from Amazon customers, The Family Sabbatical Handbook also includes a "Top Ten" list of reasons to live abroad with your children. It also contains a resource guide that lists helpful books, magazines, and catalogs as well as Internet links and descriptions of internet guidebooks, message boards, accommodations, equipment, employment, health/safety, homeschooling, legal forms, and several other topics relevant to sabbatical travelers.


Bernick is an award-winning writer and journalist and has worked as a reporter and producer for radio, broadcast television, and cable stations. She has also taught creative and broadcast writing at Syracuse University, the University of Minnesota, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She is currently working on a new, revised edition that will mention SabbaticalHomes.com in the resource section. For more information on the book, check out www.familysabbatical.com.




Notable Members
We're seeking notable members to feature.

SabbaticalHomes.com is pleased to introduce a new feature called "Notable Members" that will be included in future newsletters as well as on our website. We would like to use this feature to highlight the exciting work of the members in our community. Most SabbaticalHomes.com members make significant contributions and we are proud to recognize them. We would like to invite our members to nominate themselves or fellow members by emailing SabbaticalHomes.com's founder, Nadege Conger, at nconger@sabbaticalhomes.com. Some ideas for features include: leading a nonprofit, conducting medical research, developing a documentary, or writing a book.

Please continue reading below to learn more about Brian Thompson and his organization, Earthen Vessels. Brian is SabbaticalHomes.com's first notable member.

Brian Thompson
SabbaticalHomes.com Notable Member
Founded in 1980 by Brian Thompson (a SabbaticalHomes.com user) and Marie-Claude Thompson, Earthen Vessels is a nonprofit organization serving at-risk, inner-city youth in the Boston area.

Earthen Vessels offers two complementary programs -- a summer camp and a tutoring and mentoring program. The summer camp takes place in the Green Mountain National Forest in Granville, Vermont. The camp offers an intense experience of community life which includes "traditional" camp activities -- sports, arts, theater, swimming, games -- as well as discussions on conflict resolution, relationships, and grief. In addition, all campers participate in camp chores, including cooking, serving, and cleaning. Some veteran campers have even returned and become counselors for the next generation.

The school year tutoring and mentoring program matches inner-city children and teens with Harvard students in long-term supportive relationships. Through weekly sessions, the student and tutor work on academic (reading, writing, math) and life (planning, scheduling, taking responsibility) skills. Program participants have a wide range of academic abilities and emotional problems, and the program seeks to empower each of them to improve their lives through education.

Brian Thompson holds a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University. He is a professor of French at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and president of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the American Association of Professors of French. For more information on his organization, visit

Your Perfect Match
Finding the Right Match for Your Home Exchange

One of the common concerns of home exchangers is ensuring that the person(s) is reliable, responsible, and will be a good match for you. Outlined below are some things to think about when looking for a potential match.
  • Allow your ad on SabbaticalHomes.com or other sites to be your initial screening process. Clearly advertise what you are offering and what you expect in exchange. Remember to include information such information as kid-friendly, pet-friendly, close to university, etc. to ensure you attract the right person(s).  
  • Have the prospect complete a written application that covers credit history (if requiring rental income), personal references, names of employers, contact information and emergency contacts. If you end up conducting an exchange with this person, it will also allow you to have all their information in one easy location. Be ready to offer the same information about yourself.
  • Order credit reports from a major credit reporting company if there is any concern regarding finances.
  • Consider drafting an agreement form between you and the exchanger to ensure both sides are clear on responsibilities and expectations.

Legal Items to Consider
For Home Exchanges or Rentals

When conducting a home exchange or renting out your home, there are also legal aspects to consider. Such legal issues may vary from country to country, or even state to state, so it pays to do some research to ensure that you know your rights and the extent of coverage provided. The internet is a great place to start to look up some of the basics. Some questions to consider include:
  • What does your home insurance policy cover?
  • If you are making your car available for use, what does your car insurance policy cover?
  • If collecting rent on your property, is it taxable and at what rate?

Summer Preview
Professors Take Vacations too...

SabbaticalHomes.com is planning to set up a special section on its website for summer exchanges. This section will make it easier to search the site for properties available during the summer months and will be functional beginning June 1, 2008.

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