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Thread: Hosting an international student

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Hosting an international student

    Anyone ever been a host family for an international student?

    Our local community college is looking for host families for international students as part of an international development scholarship program.


    Sounds like an interesting opportunity but I'm sure there are pros and cons.

    Thoughts?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    My family has hosted 4 international exchange students. They've been high schoolers, though, not college students. My mother has enjoyed it so much that she is a now a regional coordinator for the Center for Cultural Interchange, the organization we hosted student through.

    The first student we hosted was when I was a senior in high school. He was from St. Petersburg, Russia. He and I shared a room and became pretty close friends by the end of his 10 months with us. I still talk with him on Facebook.

    The second student my parents hosted was my sophomore year of college. She was from Bangkok, Thailand. I wasn't in town much, so I didn't get that close to her. My little sister did. In fact, this student is actually currently back in Dallas staying with my parents for 3 months as part of a short-term collegiate exchange program.

    The third student my parents hosted, and the first they hosted after my mother started working as a regional coordinator for the organization, was from Murcia, Spain, and was my junior year of college. Again, she and my sister became quite close.

    The fourth student was from Seoul, South Korea, and she was hosted my senior year of college. My parents had some issues with this student. Nothing major, just some personality conflicts and a hard time motivating the student to do what she was here for. Things ended on a good terms, though. After this, my parents went two years without hosting any students, instead concentrating on the regional group of students my mom was responsible for and branching out into more short term and college-age exchange programs.

    So, after a needlessly lengthy post, I'd recommend it at least once (at least twice if your first experience went poorly), whether now or at some point in the future. My mom's students she's overseen (usually about 20-25/year from across the globe in the DFW area) are usually great kids. There've been a few problem kids, my mom says about one or two per year. She also says the problem kids seem to be disproportionately more from South Korea, Germany, and western South American countries (Peru, Ecuador) than any of the other countries her organization has exchange programs with, but even then, most of the students are good kids. I can imagine there'll be a lot less disciplinary issues with college-age students since they're legally adults.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone ever been a host family for an international student?

    Our local community college is looking for host families for international students as part of an international development scholarship program.


    Sounds like an interesting opportunity but I'm sure there are pros and cons.

    Thoughts?
    They could be terrorists trying to infiltrate your community.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Wow. Sounds like your mom is very committed to the cause and that you've had good experiences.

    In high school we hosted exchange students (2 from Germany & 2 from France) for 3 weeks each time. That was ok. I went to France as an exchange student and am embarrassed to say I wasn't the best exchange student. I'm worried that karma may get me back for my antics.

    Then again, I suppose I could try to right my wrongs through this opportunity.

    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    They could be terrorists trying to infiltrate your community.
    Terrorists, meh. I'm more concerned about whether the pets will like him/her.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    How long would the student be with you? One semester isn't really that long. And at that age, they should be a bit more mature than some pimply-faced teenager.

    I was an exchange student for one year. I loved it. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the greatest exchange student ever, but the experience is second to none. I still have contact with my host family, and see them when I go overseas.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I don't suppose you get to 'preview' the international students beforehand. You know, look at their photos, grades, criminal records etc? What kind of info do you know in advance - anything beyond grade or gender?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    It would be for 9 months, mid-August to May 2011.

    Good questions, Maister. I don't know I'll have to find out.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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