Hosting an exchange student is a rewarding and enriching experience for both the host family and the student. Just take it from the Hudson family, who hosted a French exchange student with AFS-USA this past year! They have compiled a list of 8 reasons why you should consider hosting an exchange student. Read on to discover them!
1) Create global citizens: We wanted to make the world seem a bit bigger for our daughter who did not have much international experience. She not only became friends with her AFS sister and learned from her, but she became friends with other AFS students. She is now talking about going to Turkey after she graduates to visit one of them. My daughter’s world is appreciably larger due to AFS.
2) Give your child a sibling: Our daughter has always wanted a sister and through AFS, she got that experience.
3) Share your own culture: As a wannabe history teacher, I wanted to share the history of both the US and Western New York State.
4) Learn about another culture: We wanted to learn about the culture of our student‘s’ country. We had a fascinating time learning not only about French history, politics, and cooking, but [also] about French rap music!
5) Give a young person the opportunity of a lifetime: As a past AFS student, I know that my life was forever changed by my year abroad. I wanted to give a student that same opportunity.
6) Gain another son or daughter: My wife and I really enjoy parenting in general and this was a way to keep parenting even with one of our kids gone from the house.
7) See the world, and your community, with a new perspective: So often, it is so easy to get caught up with weekend chores and then roll right into another work week. AFS got us out of our comfort zone and we saw more things and thought of more local places that we had never seen before. The end result was we became even more aware of all that the area has to offer: parks, day trips, etc.
8) Become globally connected: Getting to know these wonderful young adults was just really uplifting. We got to know, among others, students from France, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, Egypt, and more. Now, when I hear about those countries in the news, I will be attaching faces and wonderful memories of those students – no longer a void on a map, but a face.
If you’d like to get started hosting an exchange student through AFS-USA, fill out this short form!