Have you considered hosting a foreign exchange student?
By providing an authentic family experience to a foreign exchange student participating in US State Department Programs, you are changing the world.
It's not hard to host -- you provide the student with a loving, primarily English-speaking environment that includes three meals a day (such as you feed yourself or your family), transportation to school (often a school bus), and a place to sleep.
For a year, you will share your home, family, and life with someone who, in the beginning, will be a total stranger. It takes a special kind of family to consider themselves as potential hosts, and it’s only natural to ask, “What does my family have to gain from it?”
Kids whose parents host an exchange student are often inspired to study abroad, learn a new language, or travel in the future. In our progressively more globally connected world, an appreciation and respect for cultures beyond one’s own is a valuable, marketable outlook.
Did you know that in Bulgaria, shaking your head means “yes” and nodding your head means “no”?
These cultural differences are ubiquitous around the world. As a responsible host, it is your job to know what they are to prevent possible misunderstandings. The steps are simple: Follow these for smooth sailing with your exchange student!
Your exchange student may be coming to the U.S. to learn the language and embrace the culture, but reciprocity is key to a successful relationship.
To help your student feel more at home, embrace his or her own culture. Whether your student hails from Ukraine or Thailand, make it a family affair and plan a traditional menu, perhaps including your student’s favorite dish from home and some festive decorations. Your student will become more comfortable, and your family will learn something new in a fun, delicious way!
Your exchange student has finally arrived! He or she has met the family, toured your home and about town, and registered for classes. After that whirlwind of excitement, things have just begun to settle down – but what now?
An ideal host family comes in all shapes and sizes. Single, married, no kids, five kids, empty nesters – any of these arrangements can make up a great host family. On the other hand, basic qualifications for host families are straightforward: a bed for the student to sleep in, meals, rides/transportation, and treating your student like one of the family, no matter how your family is made up.