First month with your exchange student
Finally! You are waiting at the airport, possibly with a sign in hand with your Student's name on it. You search the crowds waiting to see them. I guarentee they are looking for you as well... Then you spot eachother. You are all smiles so excited! Your student will either be all smiles as well, or possibly might look a bit nervous or scared. Do not be disheartned. They have had a long flight, and are now in a country that is thousands of miles from everyone they know, and speaks a different language. Give them time to warm up and get comfortable.
When you get home with your student, you will be eager to show them everything in your home. You are excited afterall. I stress that you should allow them time to themselves for a little bit.
Again they will be overwhelmed and exhausted. Show them the bathroom, and their bedroom, and let them know you will let them have some time to get settled in and rest for a bit. And for them to feel welcome to join the family when they are ready to. Some students will be ready right away. Others may need to take a bit to get their bearings.
Share your home with your student
Within the next couple of days you will share your home with your student. Show them where everything is. Answer any questions they might have. Try to read their faces for questions that they might be to shy to ask. You would be suprised at how easy you can read their questions. You will also need to set up an appointment with the school to get them registered and to pick their classes. This again might seem a bit overwhelming to some students, so make sure they know you are there for them and if they need a break to just ask. They are still adjusting to a different time zone as well.
Starting school & making friends
Shortly after they arrive they will start school. This will be an exciting time for them. They will be making new friends and stretching their wings. They might have the chance at school to try classes and sports they could not in their home country. Encourage them to try new things but gently remind them to not get so involved in to much stuff that they neglect their studies.
Enjoy this first month of getting to know eachother
During this first month it will be full of new things for you and your student. They will be more cautious, afraid to upset you. You will also be more attentive to their needs, wanting to make sure they are happy in your home. Now while you will both continue these, they will tend to relax a bit as the stay continues. Enjoy this first month of getting to know eachother. Make sure you discuss your house rules with them. You may have to discuss them again in a couple of month, but make sure you establish your ground rules right away. You might also in your first month have a in-home visit from your local representitive. This is a great opportunity for you and your student to ask any questions that may have come up.
You have made it your first month! These next several months will fly by quicker than you know it. Take lots of pictures and cherish every minute!
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What to read next:
Your student has been gone for maybe only a week possibly longer, and you find yourself missing them in your home. They will always be a part of your life, but there is deffinatly an emptiness now.
Tell them about what their child is doing, tell them about a funny face they made when they tried some new foods. They will love hearing this.
Hosting a Exchange Student is a very rewarding experience for all of you. The road ahead will be full of many exciting adventures and you will build memories to last a life time!
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