Interested in hosting an exchange student? Contact us to help you. Generally speaking, when we talk about going on an exchange we see things from the exchange student’s perspective and the prevailing concept is novelty: we imagine that the student arrives in a new home, family, country and language, and does everything possible to adapt to the new environment until the day comes to return to his or her home country with a hundred things to tell. In fact, practically everything we imagine comes from fantasizing about the experience of being a student or remembering it in case we have lived it. However, we may not give much thought to the idea of what it would be like if we were the ones hosting an exchange student in our home.
Being part of a family that hosts an exchange student is as unique an experience as that of the exchange student. It is always nice to receive, but, as the saying goes, “he who divides and divides gets the lion’s share”, which in this case means that a person who takes on the responsibility of hosting a stranger in his home to help him learn a language, take care of him and introduce him to a culture is perhaps the biggest winner in that relationship, given the satisfaction that such work produces.
Advantages of hosting foreign students at home
To be eligible as a host family it is necessary to go through certain interviews and evaluations in order to determine the suitability of the family group to receive the exchange student. It’s not “blow and make bottles,” but it definitely has its charm. In this regard, let us now talk about its advantages:
Get to know another culture first hand without leaving home
One of the first things you must understand is that you will have a guest in your home for a certain period of time. It is like a visitor who will be with you for longer than usual, so there must be clear agreements and rules for a good coexistence. Likewise, that exchange student should be treated like any other member of your family, with the utmost love and kindness.
Most likely at first you will find him/her to be a person with strange habits. This is understandable because the exchange student comes from a country with different customs than yours, from a country with different customs than yours. it is very likely that at the beginning you will find it difficult to understand him or her.especially if your knowledge of their language is not very good. But even in that situation you can take advantage of it, because you will have constant access to another culture and that will help you to expand your understanding of the world -and from the comfort of your home!
The possibility of learning while teaching
So it’s not just an exchange student that you have in your home, but a little piece of the world, so there’s quite a bit you have to learn from that student, as well as he or she has to learn from you. From the moment such a student arrives in your country, you will not only be temporarily their new family member but also a teacher. In this sense, you must teach him/her how to introduce him/her to the cultural system of your country. After all, student exchange projects are mainly based on the premise of cultural exchanges, so you not only teach, you also learn.
To go on a journey of personal discovery
Over time you may even discover things in yourself that you previously had trouble seeing or did not bring to light easily. It will also increase your ability to adapt to new people, no matter how different they may be from you, and to make friends with them. Likewise, you will be able to open yourself to different perspectives and experiences regarding the same topics. At certain times you may come to feel as if you yourself are another student, and that’s a good thing, as today’s education paradigm tends to be more two-way.
You may also discover more about yourself and your surroundings as you want to show more of what you, your community and your country have to offer the world. In this way, you may now look more closely at what you previously overlooked because you have the goal of showing it to someone new in your world.
Make new friends
Another great advantage that can be mentioned is the possibility of making new friends. Inevitably the day will come when that exchange student with whom you shared a couple of months or a whole year will leave, but you will know that not only will you have become important to that student, wherever he or she is, but you will also consider him or her to be your great friend.
This is one of the most gratifying points of this activity: an exchange of cultures that ends up becoming a union of cultures, thus highlighting the best human virtues. If you have the opportunity to host an exchange student in your home, take advantage of it.