Learning from host family experiences is indeed enriching. There are several instances of host family experiences in the US that one can learn from. It is an indisputable fact that experience is the best teacher. You can become a better host by learning from other hosts rewarding and enlightening family experiences.Friendship and Unity among the different nations of the world.
The main rationale behind the exchange visitors program initiated by the US government was to enhance mutual understanding and knowledge with the many countries of the world. Another reason is the establishment of a lasting friendly relationship with those countries. This program truly makes the vast world a small place and promotes goodwill and familiarity between the people of different nations.
The US government believes that it is best to share knowledge as the first step towards establishing strong inter-country relationship. Under this exchange program, many participants from different countries visit the US annually. This gives them an opportunity to see, experience and understand the American culture.Some US citizens have been given opportunities to host some exchange program participants. A family needs to apply and get approval of their application to qualify as a host family.
Useful tips to successfully host exchange students
- Hosting exchange students is a unique opportunity that broadens mindsets and which leaves memories cherished for a lifetime. Here are a few useful pointers.
- Prepare a room for them keeping in mind their preferences and tastes. You need not spend on expensive stuff; make sure the room is roomy and comfortable.
- AS soon as you learn about the person who is going to be your guest in student exchange programs, obtain his contact details. You will be able to communicate and learn more about the person.
- Be diplomatic and hospitable. Take special efforts to make them comfortable. After all a visit to a different country and culture can be bewildering and daunting experience.
- Do not assume that they do not speak English fluently. You will be pleasantly surprised that some exchange students speak English as well as native speakers.
- You cannot wash away cultural differences. Try to break down cultural barrier subtly and in a non-aggressive way. Make special efforts to learn more about the culture of your guest.
- Include them in the household chores. This helps in bonding and instilling the feeling of belonging. Make it a point to introduce them to all your family and friends.
A host family experience
A certain family were lovers of the French culture. They wanted their two young sons to have the same attributes. They were benefited by the Au Pair exchange program. Au pair literally means on par or equal. They are international visitors who come to the US on J-1 visa to get a better insight and appreciation of American life by living with American families and caring for their young children. Incidentally the term “au pair” varies depending upon the country. They hosted three full time au pair programs over three years. As a result, their two sons started speaking French fluently.
According to the family, their host family experiences ignited interest in their children about other countries culture. Also the Au Pairs were exposed to American Culture, traditions and household roles.
The exchange program works well with those families that genuinely have the desire and are passionate about understanding other cultures and beliefs. They would be willing to shower love and affection on the participants of exchange programs. The host family must also offer support to the participants throughout the year.