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Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

By Edited Mar 15, 2016 1 3

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student can be one of the most spectacularly unique opportunities of a lifetime that will provide you a chance to get to know another culture through the eyes of a student that can never been obtained in a textbook.

Hosting a foreign exchange student is a very rewarding experience that cannot be duplicated by any other system currently in place to get to know a foreign student, their language, their culture and many of their daily habits. If you or someone you know would be interested in this rare experience, I highly recommend it for the lifelong relationship it will build.

My personal foreign exchange student experience included a trip to Chile, South America with an amazing family of 9 warm and friendly people that are now considered part of my family. On my return from Chile, my family hosted a student from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and it was not only an educational experience for her but, also for all the members of my family. I maintain contact with both families through letters to this day and am totally grateful for all that the Open Door Program provided.

Let's explore what are the benefits of hosting a foreign exchange student, the requirements involved in hosting and how to get started.

Benefits of Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Student Exchange Program

By hosting a foreign exchange student, you not only open your home to a student looking to study abroad but, you will be able to show the student the way an American family lives day to day, explore your great city with a student, learn some of their language and culture as well as to develop a long standing relationship while making a great new friend.

Most foreign exchange students stay with a family for anywhere from 5 months up to a year and either visit during the summer months or during a semester at the high school up to a full year of schooling. This provides ample time to really get to know the student and their ways and to show them a little of what the American Dream means to so many of us that live and work in the United States of America.

Share and learn from some of the best and brightest students from another culture as there is no other experience quite like hosting a foreign exchange student.

What is required to Host a Foreign Exchange Student?

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

A safe, secure and warm family home is the main requirement needed in order to host a foreign exchange student. Other necessary items include a separate, quiet bedroom for the student to stay in and study in so that full room and board are provided. A bedroom can be shared as long as the student is the same sex as the host student.

All family meals should be maintained as usual while hosting a student and this can be a great opportunity to learn more about the student, their family, their country, their language and their culture.

Parental guidance is highly recommended while the student will be living with you in order to provide a safe environment just as you do your own family and children and the student will abide by all rules and regulations of your home.

Students are not allowed to drive while living and staying with you even if they have a current driver's license in their own country.

Students are not permitted to smoke, drink alcohol or take any drugs while participating in the foreign exchange program so you can be a good role model by observing these same rules.

Foreign exchange students arrive with their own spending money for any extracurricular activities or souvenirs so that this is not an added expense for the host family.

In order to provide the best educational experience for the exchange student while they will be staying at your home, it is often recommended that small or short excursions are included such as museums, galleries, parks, places of historical significance and any specific places in your city that could benefit the student to gain the most from this experience.

Part of being a foreign exchange student involves an opportunity to study abroad so that the host family should always make sure that the student arrives to the school in a timely manner, well fed and relaxed in order to study. All other activities should be centered on the school functions and school schedule as the main priority, unless of course a summer program is scheduled.

Hosting a foreign exchange student doesn't need to be a costly venture for the host family as there are many inexpensive or free events that the student would enjoy and you could do any of the regular family events you normally would do.

Foreign exchange students must have their own medical insurance so this will alleviate many concerns of the hosting family. Any problems at all can be handled by the local representative of the Open Door Exchange Program for their advice and expertise.

How to get started Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

The Open Door Exchange Program is the non profit organization most noted with the experience, knowledge and expertise of finding the right student to match with the host family. After an online application is provided, a local representative of the Open Door Exchange will contact the family for an interview so that the best student can be matched based on similar interests, language and studies.

A background check is typically done on all family members that are age 18 and older and any criminal activity found will disqualify someone to host a foreign exchange student for the safety and security of the student.

One or two foreign exchange students can be invited to stay with an American family as long as there is room to house them and all other rules and regulations are followed by the host family.

Hosting a foreign exchange student is a very rewarding experience that cannot be duplicated by any other system currently in place to get to know a foreign student, their language, their culture and many of their daily habits. If you or someone you know would be interested in this rare experience, I highly recommend it for the lifelong relationship it will build.

Learn how to Study Abroad as a Foreign Exchange Student: http://www.infobarrel.com/Study_Abroad_-_Foreign_Exchange_Student_Programs

photos: www.istockphoto.com

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Comments

Oct 31, 2010 11:28pm
dreamaker
Great information, it sounds like a fulfilling experience for all involved. Good article(:
Nov 3, 2010 8:13pm
vetochemicals
Thanks Dreamaker, I hope others find it useful:)
Nov 21, 2010 5:15pm
marianneliz
this is a lovely article. i had a great time as an exchange student in Germany once.
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