Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hosting an Exchange Student

We are currently hosting our fourth exchange student (even...just one this year).  This year's experience has been the best so far.

We host through EF Educational Homestay Programs.  There's no particular reasons we use that program.  The coordinator for a group just happened to post on a homeschool group I'm part of last year, and we agreed to host.  When a post went out looking for host families this year, we decided to try it again.

I like EF Educational Homestay Programs because they are short term programs.  The students come for 2-3 weeks.   Each weekday, we are responsible for feeding our student breakfast and getting them to their "school" by 8:30am with a sack lunch.  This year, school is being held 3/4 of a mile away at a local church.  Then around 5:30pm, I pick our student up.  Sometimes pick up time is delayed, and we are notified by a text message so we are sitting and waiting.  Then we have dinner together and spend time with our student in the evening and on weekends.

These students have very busy schedules while visiting our country.  The mornings are typically filled with English classes. The kids then have lunch and leave for a field trip for the afternoon.  Sometimes classes are skipped in favor of an all day field trip.  And they really try to pack in a lot on those field trips.  They do anything from visit a local park to play games or visiting a local pool to busing up Seattle to visit the Space Needle or see a Mariner Game.  Chances to shop are always included at some point.

In the evenings, we spend our time with our students doing anything from hanging out at home playing in the front yard to visiting local parks to going on field trips to places not on their itinerary.  Last year, we took the twin boys we hosted to several local parks, swimming in the local river, and up to Mt. Rainier.  This year, we've enjoyed some time at home with our student, gone to a few parks, and saw a kids comedy juggling act at the park.  We are planning on taking her to the ocean for a sand sculpting contest, to see Marsh's Free Museum, and possibly go to a rodeo.  Our neighbor is talking about having a backyard barbecue together and taking us boating with the inner tube.  By the time she leaves for home, we'll be ready for some quiet days, but it sure is fun while she's here.

This photo was taking the day she arrived.  We headed to our favorite little trail in the nature preserve.

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