Category Archives for "Practical Tips"

Culture Shock Revisited

What does it mean to experience culture shock? Commonly said to have originated in 1958 to describe the “anxiety produced when a person moves to a completely new environment,” the term has become a glib statement rolling off our tongues without little thought. We all think we know what it means, whether we’ve been a […]

Mobile Phones and Exchange Students: Some Useful Tips

Last week I posted a summary of what to expect regarding students getting a drivers’ license while on their exchange year. Today I address cell phones, as part of this periodic series on “things students and host families might want to know.” What’s posted below may not be news for everyone, but hopefully it gives […]

Learning How to Drive on Your Exchange: Harder Than You Might Think!

We get questions every year from students about how they can get a driver’s license during the exchange year. In some countries, it is very expensive to get a license, and the age limits are higher than they are in the U.S. So we understand why students are interested (and why parents who are paying […]

What to Bring With You on Your Exchange Year

Every year my incoming students want to know what they should bring with them to the U.S., and what they should just buy here. It’s not a one-answer-fits-all question; it depends on the student, prices in the student’s home country and in the U.S., and the student’s budget once she gets to the U.S. It’s […]

The Second Half of the Exchange Year: All Fun and Games?

The second half of the exchange year is the perfect time to relax with your student and enjoy the relationship.  By now, your student knows your house rules, is familiar with how things work at school, and probably has made a few friends. So nothing to worry about, right?  I certainly hope that’s true, and […]

The Exchange Year, Phase Two: As the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

The old proverb cited above describes nicely where we are now in the cycle of the educational exchange year.  This is for my students, and the thousands of other high school exchange students trying to muddle through a semester or year that is harder than they expected: The “gets tough” side:  You have had the […]

How to Help Your Exchange Student Adjust to Life Here in the U.S.: Tips for Parents

Recently I wrote about the communications challenges and cultural shocks that teenage exchange students face at the beginning of their academic year.  Today I thought I would expand on some concrete “tips” for helping them through this period.  These tips can help families and students move on to the next stage in their relationship now […]

Practical Tips for Exchange Students – Preparation for Travel to Your Host Country

Every year, I send my new students some pieces of advice for them to think about before they travel to the U.S. for their exchange semester or year.  Here are some tips that expand on recent advice I’ve given to my new student group, as they prepare to leave their home for their host countries […]

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