Why We Believe

person holding globe in front of them

Our new year starts this weekend, with one student arriving this Saturday . . . and then next week about a dozen more . . . and almost a dozen more over the following two weeks. Host families they have never met will be waiting for these teens. Families have gone to great lengths to make their new family members feel welcome — perhaps repainting bedrooms, re-arranging space in homes, making personal welcome signs, and making plans for showing their student the community in which he or she will be living. They will greet these strangers walking out of the airport’s security area with the kind of the enthusiasm usually reserved for immediate family members.

With the stroke of a pen (well, the clickety clack of a few keystrokes), we exchange coordinators create new bonds and create paths to new friendships and relationships. It’s a joy to watch and an awesome responsibility. We know there’s a ton of work to do; our role doesn’t end the day the students arrive. Indeed, you could say it’s just beginning.

We believe in the value of these exchanges, and that the work is worthwhile. We’ll end today with this video … yes, it’s a promotional video, but it’s a darn good one, and makes some good statements on why we believe in hosting, in the words of host families who have done it and students who have experienced it.

See you at the airport!

 

Feature photo credit: Slava Bowman

The Meaning of Global Citizenship

I love infographics….This one covers a wide range of sub-topics under the general heading of “raising your child in today’s global world.” It includes data on the increase in cross-border trade; companies expecting employees to work abroad; and interest of young people today in working abroad. It raises briefly issues such as:

* How do you learn how to think about global problems?

* How can you be prepared to be successful anywhere?

* How can you learn how to be a problem-solver, not just a repository of data and statistics?

For those who just like to click on the link and see the “original”: A Passport to Global Citizenship.
A Passport to Global Citizenship Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Our New E-Book is Now Available!

We’ve reached a milestone today! We have published our new e-book: We Would Love to Host an Exchange Student, But …

Thousands of teenagers from other countries spend one or more years studying in the U.S. They come from countries all over the world. In each case the students, parents back home, and host families are taking a big leap. Many students have great experiences during their time in the U.S., improving critical language skills and forming life-long relationships. But many book cover smallerstumble along the way. Some change host families or schools while in the U.S.; some return home early. Many simply have a less rewarding time than could have been the case. Often it comes down to one problem: communications!

Better problem-solving skills and communications could help avoid these situations — communications between student and host parents, student and parents back home, student and siblings in a host family, and even host parents and natural parents back home. There can never be too much communication when it comes to teenagers and adults, not to mention the added challenge of inter-cultural expectations and misunderstandings.

In this book, you will learn about many of the opportunities for miscommunication in the context of students studying in the U.S., and how to solve problems when issues do arise. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all answer, but “communicate early and often” is pretty close. Host parents, parents back home, and students themselves are making a big investment when it comes to any high school study abroad option. This book can help make that investment a success.

This is a “first” for us! We welcome your comments — and your corrections! You can download a sample or buy the book here at Smashwords.com.  We should be on Amazon and other retailers soon!

Book Summary: A Parent Guide to Studying Abroad

“One of the best gifts we can give our children is to help them develop a global mindset so that they will be best positioned for success in our competitive, global marketplace.” That’s from Stacie Berdan, in the book she wrote with Allan Goodman and William Gertz entitled A Parent Guide to Study Abroad.

Parents-Guide-to-Study-Abroad-IIE-Front-Cover-ImageThanks today goes to the folks at The Power of Moms, which has published my book summary of this short but important guide. Parents back home are a key factor in the success of a student’s academic semester or year abroad, and A Parent’s Guide to Study Abroad fills a needed niche.

Read my review here at The Power of Moms — and stay and visit while you are there. It’s an online community providing support and tools for mothers around the world. There are articles, podcasts, online training options, and, of course, book reviews.

Desire to Create Change, One Person at a Time

“I’m going to use my experiences and skills to help bring positive changes to Ghana my motherland, Africa my home, and the world as a whole.

Dear friend, what do you think you can also do to promote change?”

Emmanuel Kwabena Tetteh, August 2015

Emmanuel’s comments made me think about the old proverb about the boy and the starfish:

© 2015 L. Kosloff

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked, he could see a boy in the distance. As he drew nearer, he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again, he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached, he could see that the boy was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.

The man asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied, “I am throwing these starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen.” The man said, “You can’t possibly save them all. There are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t make a difference.”

The boy looked down, frowning for a moment. Then he bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,

“I made a huge difference to that one.”

You can follow Emmanuel’s path — and be an element of change, one person at a time.  Participate in cultural exchange. Study abroad yourself, to learn about others; in so doing, you will learn about yourself.  Do some extensive traveling, which could include travel in your own country but in a different “cultural” setting from anything you’ve experienced before.  Connect with people along the way.  Host an exchange student — make a difference to that one person.

Emmanuel was born and raised in Ghana. He is currently studying medicine at the Volgograd State Medical University in Russia. Read Emmanuel’s blog post to hear his story: Beautiful Green and White Balloons.