Community for high school exchange students and host families.

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Prepare your children

Now if you have children in your home, you might be wondering how to prepare them for the arrival of their host sibiling. This process will vary based on age...
If you have younger children, say under the age of 10 there will be many things to think about... Young children tend to attach themselves very easily to a person. This is not a bad thing. It does make the leaving hard. And it can pose a few problems throughout the year, but with communication you can easily tackle those.

prepare your children

Before your student arrives and after you have started emailing, it would be a great idea to ask them if they have any questions for their host sibiling. They can either email them or you can type for them, depending on their abilities. You can even ask your student if they would like to ask your children questions. This is a great way for them to start establishing a relationship.

Talk to your children several times

You will want to explain to your younger children that their new sibiling will not be living there forever. That they are sharing your home for the next several months, and then will be leaving to go back to their natural family. They may not understand that at first but if you discuss it regularily throughout the year they will get it. You will need to let them know that older kids need quiet time for studying, so when they are in their rooms they need to be respectful and ask if they are busy. This again is something you will most likely have to tackle several times throughout this experience. Make sure to let your exchange student know that you are there to help and if they are getting frustrated that they need to come to you so you can handle the stituation.

You should include your teen in the process of selecting your student.  After all being a teen they will most likely spend a lot of time together, if not possibly share a room. So it is important that your child feels comfortable with this student.

Now if you have teens already in your home, you are better prepared than most! You already know how teens work, or have a slight idea. How many of us ever really know, right? You should include your teen in the process of selecting your student. After all being a teen they will most likely spend a lot of time together, if not possibly share a room. So it is important that your child feels comfortable with this student. You need to make sure that your child understands that you plan to uphold your exchange student to the same rules that you expect them to live by. Let them know that you are there for them if they have questions or if they feel there is a problem. There could be times of resentment. After all this is a new person coming into your home with neat things to share with you from their country. Make sure you do not push your own child off to the side.

Having children into your home and bringing another into it from another country is an amazing learning opportunity for them. This will offer so many chances for learning and acceptance throughout the months. Embrace this, but make sure to keep your eyes open for any problems. Often your exchange student will not say something is bothering them and will let it fester until they explode. And your child may not say anything for fear of you not believing them, and you thinking you are just jealous. So be alert and watch for the signs.... Above all have a wonderful time!!! Keep communication open between all of you!

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What to read next:

Culture differences between host family and exchange student

When you bring a student into your home from another country, you will realize that while you might have seen a bit of that culture maybe you still have a lot to learn. To see it is completly different than living it. This holds true for you and your student.

How to choose an exchange student

Congratulations! You have made the decision to host a student in your home! Now comes the hard part.. How to pick a student.

Expectations

You and your student will have your own set of expectations. They might be similar but they could be completely different.

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