Category Archives for "Adapting to Life in Host Country"

Getting to Know You: Ten Topics Exchange Students and Host Families Can and Should Talk About

two people chatting in coffee shop

As the year begins, there are many things exchange students need to know in order to adapt to and fit in with their host family. Most students will have been to an orientation in their home country before leaving for their exchange, but it’s impossible to remember or cover everything. In the U.S., exchange students have […]

Exchange Students and Activities Outside the Classroom

two girls playing lacrosse

We’re always urging our exchange students to “do” some kind of extracurricular activity — something outside their regular school classes. It almost doesn’t matter what the activity is; it can be sports, band, choir, a dance class, martial arts, or some sort of volunteer activity in the community. It can be something that already interests […]

Exchange Student Stories: Born in Austria, But Lost My Heart in Ireland

photo collage what is home

We coordinators are always promoting the exchange experience, of course . . . but shouldn’t we sometimes hear from our students and families? So for today, we thought we would share a few examples of what students themselves say about their exchange in another country. “Born in Austria, But I Lost My Heart in Ireland […]

The Hard Part: Getting Involved and Making Friends

words are you ready on sign with cliff background

We’ve written before about challenges our exchange students face in the beginning of the year; see, for example, this blog post. It’s that time of year again. Exchange students have been in their communities and schools long enough for life to feel almost ‘normal’ — but they still worry about making friends, about how they […]

Discovering Something New: What Exchange is All About

Oregon Star Party campground

I’ve been hosting exchange students for over 20 years, and I’ve shared with many of them my passion for astronomy. My wife and I even tried to find the perfect student with whom to share the 2017 eclipse by choosing a student who specifically said she was interested in astronomy, though we were defeated in […]

Small Talk and the American Mind

silhouetted people facing away from each other with question marks in air

I thought our readers might like to take a look at the attached short article. It has some good ideas to help new exchange students (who often think Americans are Just Plain Weird because of all the “small talk” we do). Students can ask host families some of these questions, and host families can help […]

Getting Ready for the New Exchange Year: What If We Don’t Like Each Other?

I read this statement recently in a blog post: On August 12, 2016, I arrived in California. I still remember when I got off the plane, seeing unfamiliar faces holding a sign that has my name on it. I was nervous and terrified that they wouldn’t like me; I thought it would feel awkward to live with a family that […]

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