Wry Exchange

Welcome Gifts for Exchange Students
07-31-08, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, hosting, Inbounds Inbounds | Tags: ,

From an old post: 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 
  And this year’s update:  I’m picking up  small gifts for my seven students a little at a time.  I stopped at Target last week and grabbed 7 Spanish-English dictionaries from the dollar bins.  Today I picked up 7 clear plastic folders/envelopes in the dollar section.  The smaller ones are used to store checks, and the full-size ones are for bills.  Anyway, the point is for the students to keep their return plane ticket, insurance information, passport, any notarized letters from their parents, and all other important papers in this clear folder with IMPORTANT or DOCUMENTS written with a thick black marker so it doesn’t get lost.

I’m not using Nobel for phone calls as much as I used to.  I still like it, but I like Rebtel.com much better.  I can use Rebtel to call from my cellphone to cellphones in other countries.  I can automatically add $10.00 to my account anytime I get below $2.00.  I call a local (to me) number, and magically, I’m speaking with someone in Chile or Germany.  Cheap international mobile calls – Rebtel  It’s good for calling from other countries, too.  It’s an European based company.  Check them out.

For Host Families: When I host, I’ll buy a few larger items.  A full-size US flag is nice; throughout the year the students have people they meet sign them.  A pretty journal or a business card case is nice.  A teddy bear is good to hold on to for the first week; everyone needs a friend.  A tshirt or hoodie from the local high school is a great gift.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey Wry,

I just wrote about this same topic. I had so much fun putting together a welcome basket.
A couple things I included was a fun basket that could be used throughout the year, 3 note cards with important phone numbers (home/family, emergency, and exchange), and a city and state map.

Comment by hostfamily08

Good for you! Choosing gifts always makes it seem more real to me. I go to AAA and pick up state maps for all of our inbound students, and buy small US flags 75% off after July 4th for all of them, too.
Check with your program. They are REQUIRED to give the students each an emergency contact card with phone numbers for everything from host families to domestic violence and suicide hotlines.

Comment by Wry

I am a host family member and am having an exchange student coming from Gabon, Africa tomorrow. We would like to make her feel as comfortable as possible and get her a few gifts. Do you have any ideas as to what I should get?

Comment by Desiree Symonds

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