foreign exchange student?

so im getin a foreign exchange student next year,,

i have to communicate with her and stuff like that.

but i dont kno what to tell her. help me because im so confused!

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh go you! I am an exchange student in Germany and let me tell you... the best you can do for your new exchange sister is to include her in things. Even tiny things. If she doesn't speak English very well at all (nothing or basic, simple sentences like 'I am hungry' and 'I have an aunt'), this is easy. For example, when walking somewhere, just talk like you are out with a small child -- just about what you see. "That's our neighbour, Susan Smith. [introduce them if they don't know each other] She has a very nice garden. I love smelling the roses. [pause here to smell the roses] Hey, look, a squirrel. [point] They're so cute." I mean, don't baby her or treat her like she's stupid (there's a difference between talking simply about simple things and going "Look, a dog. Do you see the dog? It's a nice dog. I like dogs. Nice dog. Nice brown dog.") but just talking will make her feel included and will help her pick up on the language and get used to hearing English. If she speaks some English already, just remember to speak slowly and simply. If she asks you to repeat yourself more than once, try rephrasing the question. For example, she might not understand, "Do you have any siblings?" but would understand if you asked, "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" (If she still needed help, you might say, "I have one brother, Daniel, and two sisters, Hannah and Rachel. But only Daniel lives with us. Hannah and Rachel are at university.")

    If she speaks pretty good English, treat her like a friend. Also... leave your door open if you don't need privacy in your room! That way she will feel okay about just coming in to visit, where as if the door is closed, it sort of says "Don't bother me" even if you are just ont he computer or reading and wouldn't mind if someone came in. Similarly, if she's in her room, go in (knock if the door is closed) and just be there with her for a bit. Watch her on the computer for awhile, even though you don't understand what she's reading. Or join her if she is watching TV. Get a book and read with her if she's reading... just spending time in her company (even silently) will make her feel at home and included and liked.

    Also, introduce her to your friends and people you talk to... it's pretty awkward to be the foreign girl standing there as her host sister carries out a conversation with someone. Obviously you need your own life, but she'll really appreciate it if you invite her out with you and your friends sometimes -- out to the mall, to see a movie, to play video-games next door. Hmmm... don't talk about her when she is there. We exchange students are really, really good at telling when the conversation is about us, even if we don't understand what is being said. Don't be patronizing either; it drives me crazy when I say something that I mean and all people will do is act like I'm a puppy that just chased its tail, oohing about how cute I am when I talk and not relaly paying attention to what I've said. Or when people have a long conversation that I zone out of, and then go, "Right, Sara?" in this of-course-you-don't-understand way, and then laugh when I say something like, "umm, yes? Okay?" Very irritating. Of course, if I DO say something funny or awkwardly, I don't mind and will laugh along too if someone explains it. but I've gotten called cute while counting and saying no, for example, and then I'm like, "I was counting! How can that be cute?!?"

    Sorry, I'm kind of whining, aren't I? But those are some things to consider about your new host sister. Have fun!

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