Foreign Exchange Student

Old 08-03-2010, 02:41 AM
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We have a sisteen year-old student from Germany that will be coming here to live with us on Saturday. His name is Johannes, and he seems very nice. I would love to hear your stories if your family has done this. We have never done anything likie this before so we are very excited, and in my case, a little apprehensive! :-)
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:43 AM
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My DD stayed with a family in France for a month her Senior year. She absolutely LOVED the expience, and she still keeps in touch with the family, especially the 2 girls. She was really afraid at first, she had only 2 years of French in HS, but she came back really speaking well!
The kids have all been screened well, and he will know English a bit, just have fun!!!!!
I cant wait to hear more about it!
Funny story...my DD April wanted to go on her trip SO bad, but it was expensive. Theschool did a fund raiser and we sold almost 5,000 candy bars!!!!!!!!!!!Just our family...we took candy bars everywhere!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:48 AM
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We have never hosted a student, but several people at church have. So far all experiences have been good. Some have even gone to meet the student's family. They are well screened and will be interested in experiencing America.

Have a list of activities, places to go, things to see etc that you can do as a family or the student can do on his own. Encourage him to participate in clubs and activities at school and in the community. Most of them are looking for "local flavor" and experiences, so here is your chance to spread your wings a bit, too.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:32 AM
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We had a young woman from Japan stay with us years ago. A positive experience. Too bad we lost touch with her. Have fun!
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:19 AM
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I was also a bit nervous getting ready for an exchange student but it was really fun. He was 15 and came from France but for only 3 weeks. He was such a nice kid and our 3 boys had a lot of fun with him as did my hubby and me. One thing I'll never forget is how shocked he was that we eat snacks watching movies!! We sent him back with baseball stuff as he loved baseball. Two of our sons studied abroad in college and the experiences were wonderful!!
Oh- as for advice- don't worry about anything. They want the American experience!! :D
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tdgiffin
We have a sisteen year-old student from Germany that will be coming here to live with us on Saturday. His name is Johannes, and he seems very nice. I would love to hear your stories if your family has done this. We have never done anything likie this before so we are very excited, and in my case, a little apprehensive! :-)
We have had 4 exchange students live with us: 1 from Brazil and 3 from Germany. We enjoyed all of them, but the kids from Germany seemed to fit in better. I guess my biggest piece of advice is this: As hard as it is, do not treat them like company, especially if you have children of your own at home. If your children have chores, make sure that Johannes has chores. The one thing my daughter was a bit angry about with our first student was that we let him get away with more things without the same punishment that she would have received. I "justified" it because he didn't grow up with our rules so he needed time to learn our rules. That's OK a couple of times, but don't let it continue. Best thing you can do is encourage them to get involved in clubs or sports at school. It's a lot of work, but soooo worth it. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:26 AM
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A couple of years ago we had a young man from Germany. The first home that he was assigned to did not work out and even though we had not been in "the program" we took him into our home around Thanksgiving weekend. It was his Junior year and our son, the 4th and only child still in the home full-time was a senior. We had so much fun with Phillip!!! HE was a great kid and we really enjoyed having him in our home. What a blessing he was to us. He was warned ahead of time that we are a really strict family and we all go to church on Sunday and there were was a curfew and everyone participated in keeping up the household but he wanted to come and was great about joining in and pitching in and helping. We treated him like he was one of our kids (he even got grounded once or twice). He went with our son to the youth group at church and he participated in the High school sports teams, went with us to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas and even stayed an extra 2 weeks at the end of the school year so that he could join us at the week long "Fryathon" (wake boarding, water skiing camping at the lake) He left to go home on the 2nd of July. He was disappointed that he didn't get to stay for the 4th but we were getting together with DH's family and he needed to get home to Germany.
I think he had a great time and even teared up when he said "goodbye". We're hoping that he will make a visit to us sometime next summer or so. We told him anytime that he wanted to visit or his family wanted to come out that we would love to have them here. Even told him that we would love it if his younger sister decided to come out as an exchange student to have her stay with us.
We miss him!!!!
We no longer have any kids in the house and I wish that we had done this sooner. We have done a couple of really short term stays but think that a longer one without any other kids in the house would not be as fun for the student.
I hope you really enjoy this time with Johannes!!!!
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:10 PM
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In 2007 I signed up to be the coordinator for a foreign exchange organization and it was a blast. They had to do a one month camp here then when that was completed they moved to other areas of the U.S. We ended up keeping one with us from Germany-a 16 year old boy-and loved it. They are so much fun, we never had any behavior issues with them, and it was great experience to see the things we take for granted as being so new to them. Just last week he came back for another visit and it was great to see him again-this is an experience I think you and your family will love. My two boys enjoyed it tremendously :)
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:24 PM
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I was in Rotary for many years. I never personally hosted a student but did things with them on weekends...like taking them to the state fair. Brazil, South Africa, Germany, France are just some the countries I remember. My assistant's daughter was a foreign exchange student and she loved it.

Just one note about the kids, in most of the countries they drink alcohol alot younger legally and that is just part of the culture. The programs DEMAND that they adher to our rules and they DO without a problem but it is odd for them because what is natural to them is illegal here BUT they see all the kids drinking anyway. I probably dealt with twenty of them through the years and every single one of them commented on how backwards they thought the system was.
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