Wry Exchange


Exchange Student FAIL -Early Termination

 Not all students complete their exchange year.  Students return home for many reasons.  I tell the kids if they can get through this year, they can do anything for the rest of their lives.  Nothing will be too  too tough.  I think it is like five years compressed into one.

Involuntary-FES may be kicked out of the exchange program or country.  The most common reasons for termination are marijuana possession, a spectacular drinking incident, or “inappropriate dating,” a gentle way of saying to the parent “Your snowflake was found nekkid with a friend or two.”  🙂  I’ve never known a student to literally be deported; we’ll say ‘kicked out’ when FES gets into legal trouble, and promises to leave the country quietly and quickly in return for dropping charges.  Students have also been evacuated from countries that are no longer safe-all students in Venezuela were pulled out several years ago mid-year.

I’ve told students they’ve been terminated.  I’ve voted to terminate kids.  I HATE IT.  It’s the worst thing we do, and it affects me for a long time.  Thank gawd it doesn’t happen often.  I’m cognizant that it will impact the student for the rest of her life.  In our program, we have a group of committee members vote, and if it’s not unanimous, FES doesn’t go.  Typically, it’s the Chairman, Assistant Chairman, inbound student chairman, country chairman, and the student’s counselor who meet and vote. 

I have lots of stories about creative disasters.  Most of the memorable ones are unique, and I don’t want to identify the guilty.  We’ve had American parents interfere so much their child has been asked to leave the program.  Arrest, physically endangering someone else, and running away with a boyfriend are go-home offenses.   I would suggest if a student is drinking underage that vodka and root beer in a Gatorade bottle isn’t a good idea. (blech)  Gatorade doesn’t make brown.   It may also be a good idea to clear your camera’s memory card before loaning it out, and password protect your laptop.

Advice for those students in potential termination situations-Don’t lie.  Apologize, beg for mercy, but never lie. Husband and I have no sympathy for liars.  Don’t be so arrogant as to think we won’t know the truth, or that you are the first student who got caught drinking, screwing, driving, or smoking weed.  (Not to mention Husband was the baddest of the bad boys when he was young.)   If someone who is trying to help you in a foreign country asks if you’ll test positive, and you say ‘no,’ you better not be knocked up or have THC in your system.  I think most students who are sent home early are terminated for being stupid.

Voluntary go homes tomorrow.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

A student going home early is a horrible experience for everyone involved. I have been involved in this situation once, and I hope to never have to do it again. There are so many emotions when this happens, and it is difficult to let it go.

Comment by onelifelog

“The baddest of the bad boys??????????????”

Wry you failed to mention one VERY important factor in not only “talking the talk, but being able to walk the walk !!!!!!!!!!” You gotta have a little bit of savoir-faire to pull it off. ( that and not caring what other people think helps a lot)
No I was not a bad boy,,,, More mischievous. (read bored)
The BIG difference is GETTING CAUGHT. Kinda like “It’s only against the law if you get caught”
The aforementioned “TARDS” all got caught.

Comment by The Husband




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