Wry Exchange

Outbound Training Session, part 2
02-10-09, 2:28 am
Filed under: Exchange Program, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: ,

  Training was a mix of the students getting to know our program, and us getting to know them.  Each class has a different personality, and we have to adapt to best prepare them.

We told them program details, our terminology,  how to request help,  how the program works, (crap.  we didn’t tell them we’re all volunteers.  i just remembered that.)  how to suck up, be a good student,  who were are, and our positions in the group.

We tried to talk them out of being exchange students.  They defended their choices well.   We told them this would be the most difficult year of their lives, but also a wonderful experience.   We want them to bond, and it seems to be happening.

Next month’s training will consist of them presenting their homework-reports on the culture of their country.  We’ll discuss and analyze the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, current political events, and the new Obama administration.    We’ll break into 3 smaller groups-Americas, Asia, and Europe for more detailed discussion.   

After group training, I took my South Americans to talk to them alone a bit while the other specialists took their kids.   Then we turned them loose to play for the rest of the night.   They learn quickly not to fall asleep until the sun rises.   Other students wrote on the sleepers.


First Outbound Training Session
02-10-09, 1:43 am
Filed under: Exchange Program, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: ,

   Our first training session was Saturday.  The students were so good!  They all remembered paper and pen.  They showed up on time, they were attentive, and they didn’t whisper during training.  I was really impressed.    They had a tough day.  Since last month’s meeting was cancelled due to weather, this was a double session. 

It wasn’t perfect.  One kid didn’t show, call, or email.  I still haven’t heard from him.  He weeded himself out.  I’ve been defriended on Facebook, so I think that’s a clue.  We stressed ‘mandatory’ many times, and the students signed contracts agreeing to the meeting dates.    I’ve heard gossip about the student’s heart not being into exchange.  Better now than later.  He can still go to college in the Fall, hasn’t put much money into the program, and didn’t spend oodles on a plane ticket.  

One of the first questions was “Why do you want to be an exchange student?”  The answers went from ‘learning about myself’ to ‘looking good on applications and resumés.’   Several know this is a great opportunity to travel and become bilingual.  A few students want to study Botany in Brasil, and one wants to study dance.   No one was interested in music, art, interior design, or decorating for the first time in years. 

We’re still trying to get to know the real person behind the groomed interviewee and polished application.  They’re relaxing now, and don’t realize we’re still watching them.  I did warn them at interviews that ‘everything is a test.’