5-Tips for Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student



It always feels good to open your home to a student from another country, who, is on a foreign exchange program. When you and your family decide to open your home to such a student, it comes with a lot of love. There are many reasons why such a gesture is good for you and for the student. You will be starting a new friendship with another family from another country. You will definitely be giving the student an opportunity to learn about your culture and be able to live comfortably and inexpensively. If you have young children, they will learn from the foreign exchange student. The student will also learn the cultures and lifestyles of your country and this is a good experience for everyone involved in this gesture of kindness.


However, you need to ensure that the student whom you host is comfortable and free to express themselves while at your home. Always work hard to avoid miscommunication with the student as this would impede their ability to learn from you and your family.


Here are 5 tips that will help you to successfully host a foreign exchange student:


  1. Be a parent to the student


As a host parent, you should behave like a parent to the student on the foreign exchange program. It should be like you have gained another child since (assuming that the foreign exchange student is young) the student will most likely be the age of your own children. Always treat the student the way you treat your own children. If anything, you should be kind and more welcoming to the student as they are new in the country. How fast they adapt to the new environment will depend on how you handle them.


  1. Set some ground rules


It is always good that your exchange student is aware of what is expected of them at various times. Let them know about the routines in your home, what they should do and what they should not do, and so on. Let them know how to use some facilities and the limits to such facilities. When you are clear on the ground rules that the new foreign exchange student should follow, it becomes easy for you and them to live in peace. Of course, you should expect some of the rules to be broken, which is natural.


  1. Help alleviate their homesickness


It is inevitable that the student you will host will be homesick. They will always feel that they miss their homes and their family. This is not something that you can change or have control of. However, you can help the student overcome this feeling in a number of ways. You could cook the foods that they are used to while at home. You can take them to a restaurant that serves delicacies from their country. Avail facilities such as phones and computers that can make it easy for the student to communicate with their family members. This is a good way to alleviate the feeling of homesickness.


  1. Give the student their space


If your house has some space, you could let the student have a room for him or herself. They need a place to regroup, recharge and retreat after a long day. They may also need to have some time for themselves. It is only natural. If there isn’t enough space for them, make them feel at home and ask them if they need anything to help them keep comfortable. The foreign exchange student should always feel free to express themselves and how they feel about everything.


  1. Learn their culture


Some of the exchange students are very open and free with people. Always be accommodative to such a student. Learn about their culture where possible. Ask them questions and show interest in their culture. If possible, you can let them prepare their foods for your family to share and enjoy. After all, they are on an exchange program!
Are you thinking of enriching your children’s lives with an Au Pair or Foreign Exchange Student?

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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