Wry Exchange

6 Host Families-P’s Horror Story
02-29-08, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program, Exchange Students, Home, hosting, Inbounds Inbounds | Tags: , , ,

 I’ve written about P a few times before.  It’s time to introduce him.  P was an exchange student several years ago, and is one of our favorite people in the world.   P had a tough year.

Let’s meet the families:

  1. Kicked out of the house after just a few weeks.  His hostsister accused P of trying to rape her.  (If there was ANY truth to the allegation, P would’ve been on the first plane home.)
  2. Counselor’s home until a new permanent family is found.  
  3.  The hostfather wasn’t home much, and hostmom and hostbrother fought loudly all the time.  Hostbrother also had a good part-time job selling weed.   Back to counselor’s house.
  4. The crunchy-granola family.  They were vegetarians who didn’t watch TV, and weren’t interested in eating meals regularly.   No one liked to cook, so they ate pasta 3 times a week.  P was hungry and cold in this house a lot.   Back to the counselor’s home.
  5. Nice family, but too late for P to trust or bond with a family.  The hostbrother blamed P for the gay porn on the computer.
  6. US!   We went and picked up P the day after graduation, brought him home, and kept him.  Husband and I cared much more about him than the people responsible for him.   P wanted to return home so many times, and we wouldn’t let him.  We pulled that boy through the year.

What went wrong? 

  1. I think P should’ve been moved to a different high school after the first family didn’t want to host him.  The sister was popular in school, and I’m sure she ruined his reputation.  P didn’t have any other friends in school except exchange students the rest of the year.
  2. P’s counselor was in her first year, and let pride get in the way.  She didn’t want to be wrong.  Husband and I are younger, what could we possibly know?  She rejected all suggestions.
  3. The families weren’t chosen for P.  I think they just found people to pass the background check who would take a kid.  Some of the families didn’t host for the right reasons.  Exchange students aren’t in the US to teach your family a language or be a live-in babysitter.
  4. Husband and I would take P into our home on weekends.  P’s counselor told us to stop.  The host families liked having him out of the house.  We offered to keep P all year, and weren’t permitted.
  5. At the time, Husband and I didn’t have enough clout to force the issue.  Since then, the counselor apologized to me, but never to P.  We now move students when problems that have the potential to ruin their year come along.

I’ll write more about P in the future.  I last saw him in November, and chat online almost daily.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

If I have host parents that don’t speak the language of the country I’m in, is that enough reason to move?

Comment by mintygreen

Oh, hell yes! A large part of exchange is learning the language of the host country. How can you do that with people who don’t speak the language? Wow. What idiot would place an exchange student with a family that doesn’t speak the language? Ask to move IMMEDIATELY. Involve your parents if they don’t listen to you.
Keep in touch.

Comment by Wry

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