Category Archives for "Teen Communications Issues"

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 […]

Thought for Today: Sharing is How You Make it Work

Tip of the day for host families and students… Sharing about what’s going on in your life is a great way to begin to get to know each other. What can you share with each other about your day? It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering or jaw-dropping story … just the little things. Did […]

We Had a Bad Hosting Experience . . . Why Should We Host Again?

Woman leaping over chasm at dusk

From an email we received during the last school year: We are currently hosting an exchange student. We are not enjoying it. The student is not as she described herself in her application. Our student is lazy, grumpy, and moody. Our home has felt awkward for months and we are anxious for her to leave. […]

This is Why We Work With Exchange Students

We have worked with high school exchange students for 10 years now — 14 if you count the several years we were “just” host parents and not coordinators! Working with teens going through cultural shock and host families going through the excitement of learning about another culture can be exhilarating. It can be frustrating. It […]

Note From an Exchange Student: I’m Homesick…How Long Will it Take Me to Settle In?

I’ve been in the U.S. for more than two months now and I don’t have any friends here. It makes me sad. I talk to my friends back home a lot since I don’t have anyone to talk to here in my host country. What else can I do? It’s around this time of year […]

When the Teenage Brain Attacks

Impacts on a Student’s Exchange Year An exchange student in the Portland metro area was sent home this past weekend, two months early. What did he do? The student’s host sister found him smoking a marijuana joint in the host family home. The host parents found the joint where he had left it sitting on the […]

Technology and Cultural Immersion

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 […]

Scaring Exchange Students Straight

“Scared straight” programs were encouraged in the U.S. in the 1970s as a way of deterring juvenile crime. The idea was to show kids what prison looks like, and maybe they’ll decide “that’s not where I want to be.” Taking high school exchange students to visit your local prison probably doesn’t serve much purpose. But […]

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