When you host an international exchange student, you’ll benefit in many different ways including:
- You’ll feel like you’re contributing to world peace.
- You’ll learn about different customs and traditions.
- You’ll gain a different worldview and perspective.
- You’ll share your community and lifestyle with a student.
- You’ll change a student’s life forever.
- You’ll help a student grow, mature, and become more self-confident.
- You’ll give love and receive love.
- You’ll create lasting memories.
Have you always been interested in travel? Do you want to teach your children about different languages and cultures? With an exchange student, you can visit another part of the world without having to get on a plane. By becoming a host family, you’ll create lasting memories and build a lifelong relationship with someone from a faraway place.
Reconnect With Your Heritage When You Host a Student
Are you interested in a certain part of the world? Exchange students come from numerous countries including Japan, Brazil, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, and Thailand. Select a student from the country of your heritage. It provides an easy and fun way to learn about and reconnect with your heritage.
Families With Young Children Benefit From Hosting International Exchange Students
If you have young children, they’ll get a big sister or brother overnight when you take an exchange student. Your foreign exchange student can tell them bed stories from their country and teach them traditional nursery rhymes. Exchange students definitely want to improve their English, however, they are almost always willing to teach kids a few words from their language. This can be exciting for young children and will get them interested in speaking a foreign language. Lastly, it will teach your kids to be sensitive and care for others even at an early age.
Families With Teens Benefit From Hosting Foreign Exchange Students
Families with teens will benefit greatly from taking an exchange student. Your teen will enjoy sharing their lives with a student from another country and they’ll never be without someone to talk to or spend time with. Why not let your teen take part in selecting your student? Encourage them to find a student that has similar interests so that they will automatically have something in common. If your child plans on attending a university, having an exchange student in your home will be a good way to prepare them for the diversity they will experience on campus.
Retirees Benefit From Hosting Foreign Exchange Students
Fill that empty nest with an exchange student. Whether you have grown children or have never had children at all, your heart will be warmed with an exchange student. Do you feel like you have a lot to teach and share? Taking an exchange student will give you a chance to share your wisdom with a young person. Share your passion for baking, sewing, fishing, or stamp collecting. You can also get more involved in the community by cheering on your student at a sporting event or musical concert. If you have grandkids, an exchange student can be a gift that you share with them.
Singles and Young Couples Benefit From Hosting International Exchange Students
Sure singles and couples without children can host a student. You can share your hobbies and interests with them and you’ll automatically have a gardening, golfing or skiing partner. If you’re active in your community and civic-minded, taking an exchange student is a marvelous way to give back. Many schools have thanked host parents for taking students because they contributed so much to the town.
More Benefits For Your Family
You’ll learn even more about their country and culture by getting your student more involved in your family. Here are a few ideas to help your family benefit even more from having a foreign exchange student.
- Let your student cook one night a week. This way you’ll be introduced to cuisine from their country.
- Incorporate new customs and traditions in your holiday celebrations.
- Travel locally and visit nearby attractions with your student.
- Go all out for American holidays like Presidents’ Day.
- Exchange music with your student. You might find a new artist for your playlist.
- Introduce the student to the matriarch or patriarch of your family so they can get a closer look into US History. It will thrill your parent or grandparent to have a chat with them.
- Go shopping with your student and talk with them about the differences in fashion trends.
You Become Mom and Dad When You Host an Exchange Student
Some exchange students refer to their host parents as mom and dad. This can be very rewarding for both you and the student. It will endear your student to you and make them immediately feel part of the family. Suggest it, but don’t get offended if they prefer to call you by your first name(s).
At the end of the program, some exchange student’s parents will come to visit and attend their graduation. This helps to form a bond between the two families. Some of the families have also reciprocated by inviting a kid from the host family to visit them in their country. As a result, many host families are in contact with their exchange student 10, 20 and even 30 years later.
You’ll Meet Other Exchange Students Too
When you are a host family, you’ll get plenty of chances to meet exchange students from other countries who are staying in and around your community. This is because exchange student programs have several family outings throughout the year. You, the other families and exchange students might go to the circus together, attend a professional sporting event, go Christmas caroling, or have a potluck dinner during the holidays.
A Win/ Win For Everyone
Taking a foreign exchange student into your home will greatly enrich your life and the lives of those around you. It will give you a better understanding and appreciation for other cultures while also growing your family. You’ll also enhance your knowledge of the world and gain more awareness of intolerance, prejudices, and injustices.