Why should your family host an exchange student? Let us count the reasons!
You'll grow as a family, together. Having the common experience of hosting a foreign student in your home will be a learning experience for each and every member of your family. Whether it's sampling new cuisine that your student brings to your table; hearing what it's like to live in his or her country; brushing up on your language skills or coming together as a family to explain not only your family's habits and ways but your culture's norms as well, you will be doing it together. In this era when everyone (kids and adults alike) is staring into their smartphones 24/7, the shared experience will bring your family even closer.
Your family's horizons will be broadened. Hosting a student from another country will make the world just a little bit smaller. You and your family will become aware of and appreciate a culture that is not your own, giving all of you an up-close-and-personal lesson in the importance of diversity and the ways in which it can enhance everyone's mind and heart. Your kids (and dare we say you, too?) will take that lesson in diversity into your own schools and workplaces, giving you a new understanding of the important role diversity plays there.
More fun will be infused into your household. In this hectic world, most families aren't sitting around playing games or even watching movies or TV together on any given school night. Kids have their own agendas, be it studying, going to practices, playing sports or socializing with friends. Parents are just trying to keep the household moving, getting the kids fed and to their activities, and maybe leaving a little time for themselves at the end of the day. But when you welcome an exchange student, all of a sudden spending time together becomes a priority. You linger a little longer at the dinner table talking about your culture and theirs. You do more things as a family more often. And you remind yourselves and your kids how much fun it is to have fun together.
There are so many reasons to host an exchange student, but perhaps none more important than drawing your own family closer together. Is it right for you? Visit us at Youth for Understanding to learn more.