Category Archives for "Practical Tips"

Host Family Tips: Before Your Student Arrives

words welcome to our home

June and July are strange times for those of us working with international students. Our students who have been here for a semester or school year are returning to their home countries — yet at the same time, we’re looking for host families for the coming school year and beginning to reach out to our […]

Is Culture Shock A Good Thing?

We’ve written before (see here and here, for example) about the impacts of culture shock as our students arrive on our shores thinking exchange student life will be easy and then realizing — rather suddenly — that life is harder than they thought. We’ve also shared thoughts (see here and here) on what it’s like […]

Our Exchange Student Needs to Register For Classes: What’s the Process?

Most exchange organizations will take care of making sure exchange students are properly enrolled at the local school. It’s quite likely, however, that the host family will help their student choose classes and sign up for school activities, much as they would help their own children. If you have never had a high school student, […]

Charitable Tax Deductions for Host Families

Many families hosting J-1 exchange students may not be aware that if they itemize their taxes, they can claim a deduction of up to $50/month for each month the exchange student lived in the family’s home. This deduction should be included in the charitable contribution section of one’s tax return. Key elements of this deduction […]

Is Instantaneous Communication a Good Thing for Cultural Immersion? We had a meeting a few days ago with one of our students and her host parents to talk about concerns the host parents had expressed about behavior. The student had also expressed frustrations. We learned that the student was spending so much time online with […]

So What Do We Talk About With Your Exchange Students At the Beginning of the Year?

Practical Tips for Host Families (and Students, Too!) The U.S. government requires that J-1 visa high school exchange students have both pre-departure and post-arrival orientations. These meetings cover U.S laws, program rules and regulations, expectations for behavior, how to ensure students’ health and safety, and practical tips for success. We’ve been having our post-arrival welcome […]

Mobile Phones and the Exchange Student: What’s the Answer?

The following blog post is an update from my blog post on this subject from last year. We get questions all the time on this subject, and I decided to do a quick update to reflect changes we have seen in technology and in student habits. The information below may not be news for everyone, […]

10 Quick Tips for A Successful End To the Exchange Year

Host Families: Relax and be understanding, but don’t give up on your house rules 1. The second half of the exchange year is perfect time to relax with your student and enjoy the son/daughter relationship.  For these last few weeks, think about all that you have learned and how your life has changed. 2. At […]

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