what would you expect from an exchange student staying in your house?

i'm going to france this year for a whole school year and i'll be staying with a host family. the thing is, i don't really understand why somebody would volunteer to be a host family, take full responsibility of a high school student, let them stay at your house and stuff for free. so if you've ever done that, could you please tell me why?

and one more thing, what qualities would the perfect exchange student have, in your opinion?

thank you for answering!!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To the best of my knowledge, although some countries/programs pay their host families, you are right in thinking that France is not one of them.

    So why do they do it? Well, there are lots of reasons, and each family has their own. I can tell you why my husband and I and other host families that I have talked to do it. First of all, it's fun. We don't get anything out of it financially, but we do get something out of it personally. What do we get? We get another child, we get the satisfaction of helping someone, we get a feeling of making a tiny difference in the world, we get the warm feeling of promoting international relations (face it, host families do more than many politicians do!), we learn how to make real ethnic foods (eg I now know how to make REAL Hungarian goulash and other things), we expand our own worlds, we grow as people, we learn more about our own culture, we get challenged to figure out things, we may learn some words in a new language, we may help a young person figure out what to do with their life, we get to keep a connection to the local school (a reason to go to the volleyball/football/tennis games), we get a person to see and show us around another country when we are lucky enough to go there, we get some cool gifts (like the handmade bracelet one of our guests gave me), we get to introduce our natural children to the outside world, .... I could go on forever!

    Anyone that hosts an exchange student knows that the student will not be perfect - just as there aren't any perfect parents, there aren't any perfect kids.

    My biggest piece of advice is to be flexible and have the desire to really make the exchange work. Some staff/volunteers use the rule of thumb that when a disagreement between host parent(s) and exchange student arises, the exchange student needs to do 80% of the adjustment and the family needs to do 20% of the adjustment. Others will use a 90-10 split, some are quite generous with a 70-30 split. Always remember why you are going on exchange and what you want to get out of the program. Remember that your hosts are intended to be your **FAMILY** (I would put that in bold italic red etc. if I could). Again, I would put the next statement in bold italic red if I could: WHILE ON EXCHANGE, THE INTERNET IS **NOT** YOUR FRIEND. Remember that you are in France to learn (and teach a little), not to report back to everyone many times a day. If you keep these general guidelines in mind, you and your family will be able to get through any difficulties.

    Also, VERY VERY important: HAVE FUN! Don't take yourself too seriously - no one else does :) .

    Good luck to you!

    Source(s): I am a 5-time host mom and volunteer with YFU.
  • 1 decade ago

    One of the great things about exchange is that host families are usually host families because they are nice people! win!

    They will of course expect you to be neat, polite and maybe help a little around the house.

    One major reason people take exchange students is to learn something of another culture, so be ready to share your experiences and your language with your hosts.

    Lastly, this is a great question to ask your host family!! Once you have met them and settled a little you should find out why they were willing to take a student and how they think you can benefit from each other's company.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its not free when they come to UK they have to pay £100 a week at least. MAybe somebody is paying for you and you dont realise it?

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