Have you considered hosting a foreign exchange student? Not sure what to expect? Here’s a quick guide on how to successfully host a foreign exchange student!
by Stephanie Snyder
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Hosting a foreign exchange student can be exciting for all involved. As a hosting family, it is your job to ensure your student feels comfortable and gets the most out of the experience. While you can never be too prepared, some specific things will ensure your student enjoys their time abroad.
1. Make Them Feel Welcomed
There are often a lot of emotions involved with hosting a foreign exchange student. Even though they may be excited about the opportunity, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Some students get homesick while being so far away from their culture, family, and friends.
One way to help your foreign exchange student feel more comfortable is to offer them cuisine from their home country. If they are from India, for example, consider ordering from an Indian food meal prep delivery service. These services will send you fully-prepared meals that only need heating up. Your student will be overjoyed that you took the time to make them feel at home and welcomed.
2. Give Them Their Own Space
Offering a personal bedroom is a great way to make your international student feel at home. It can be hard for them to adjust to living with people they don’t know, and having a bedroom will help them feel more comfortable. A warm and inviting room is a great way to show them that you care about their welfare.
Some international students may prefer to share a room with one of your kids. However, this shouldn’t be considered until they spend time getting to know each other.
3. Celebrate Their Traditions and Holidays
Every country in the world has unique annual holidays that it celebrates. Some of these include the arrival of the new year and various other religious and cultural events. However, most countries also celebrate various holidays that are related to history, religion, and honored individuals.
In the U.S., many holidays are commonly celebrated, such as Christmas, Easter, and Memorial Day. When it comes to international students, you and your loved ones should take the time to learn about the different festivals that are commonly observed in other countries. Before you start planning how you’ll be able to host a foreign exchange student, you must have the necessary information about the student’s nationality and religion.
4. Be Wary of Culture Shock
Getting on a plane and going to a different country while living with a host family can be an exciting and challenging experience. Having a good host family can help international students avoid making mistakes and getting into trouble.
Despite the various advantages of hosting international students, they’re still bound to experience some culture shock when they arrive. This is why you should take the time to prepare them for their new life in a new country.
Before they start the screening process, it’s important that international students thoroughly study the culture of the country they’re visiting. This can include learning about the customs of the country and how to behave in public.
Apart from learning about the country’s system of government and how important laws are, international students should also be aware of the traditions of their host country. Understanding and speaking the same language can make the transition easier.
5. Be Careful of Miscommunication
Being able to host a foreign exchange student can be a great opportunity for you and your family. It allows you to share your culture and lifestyle with young adults and teens from other countries who are looking for guidance.
Being able to host a foreign exchange student can be a great opportunity for you and your family. Unfortunately, certain challenges can be associated with this type of situation, such as the language barrier.
Even though everyone is trying to be understanding, miscommunication can still occur during the process of hosting a foreign exchange student. This is why it’s important to have an open line of communication with your student.
Host families that are committed to the success and well-being of their international exchange students are some of the best there are. They have the necessary skills and attitudes to take on the responsibility of making their students feel valued and included in the family. They take the opportunity to create a bond and long-lasting memories with their student.