Wry Exchange


Preparing for Arrival
07-28-07, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , ,

Expect your new student to be different from her application.  Many applications are group efforts, written to be appealing. Duh!   I’ve known students with applications written by fathers, mothers, older siblings, or just copied off an old application.   No exchange student smokes, drinks, has a bf/gf, or hates school.  Try to chat online with your student, write letters, or even call if his English is strong enough.
 The fibs are easy to work around.  I expect it.  What’s dangerous is if the medical reports are inaccurate.  Too many students have asthma, depression, or are bi-polar, and we don’t know about it from the beginning.  Parents send their children without medication or counselling off for the most stressful year of their lives.  We host and sponsor students with depression and other physical illnesses. It’s not a problem as long as the student is stable, and continues treatment as needed.  Another problem with lying about health issues is insurance.  Their student health insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions.  Honesty is much preferred for everything.
Ask your student what his favorite fruits, vegetables, and beverages are, so you can have a selection on hand before he arrives. 
Give the student at least a few drawers and some closet space.  We had a boy who didn’t unpack for over 2 weeks, because he ‘wasn’t comfortable yet.’  They unpack when they’re ready, probably when they’re tired of tripping over luggage.
If your student plans on joining the band or a sports team, see what your local requirements are before arrival.  The student should be signed up as quickly as possible.  In my school district, a student has to complete 10 practices before participating in a game.
Have you thought of a welcome gift?  I like to buy a few plain, neutral Old Navy t-shirts, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, small sizes of shampoo, soap, bath gel, razor, deodorant, and sunscreen.  She may be too shy the first few days to use the family’s products.  I get an assortment of gum, chocolate, and gummi candy, as well as a few school supplies.  And of course, a small-as-possible dictionary to carry in his pocket.
Buy a phone card so your student can call to let her family know she arrived safely.  I like buying these online. www.nobelcom.com 

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