Counselor’s Corner

May Counselor’s Corner

As your exchange year (or semester) comes to a close, you can expect that there might be a range of emotions felt by you, family members, and your student. You are not alone!

We encourage you to continue having open communication with your student throughout these last days of the program. As departure day approaches, the sadness of saying good-bye may be eased by viewing it as just a “farewell for now”. Social media will allow you to keep in touch, though we realize it isn’t a substitute.

Some of you may be making plans to visit your student in their corner of the world, which can help ease the goodbye blues a bit, and others are already looking at the calendar for a date when your student might come “home” for a visit!

Ideas for Farewells

Popular among host families is to gather ideas and decide on a “memory-maker” that you could give as a send-off gift for your student. Here are a few ideas that host families have shared: put together a memory book, host a party, take a family trip, create a charm bracelet or a photo quilt. Do you have an idea you could share?

Details, Details

Make lists and “do it now’. The end of the year can fly by. Shopping at 8:00 p.m. the night before your student’s departure flight is not the kind of memorable last night of the exchange experience anyone wants to have. Make a list in advance, with your student, of things they want to purchase or complete before they leave.

Be sure to have a scale available to weigh suitcases so there are no surprises during check-in at the airport! Your student should be aware to have extra money available for the airport for any overweight or extra baggage. Please check the airline’s regulations regarding luggage in order to have the most accurate information. Be prepared ahead of time so you can all spend quality time together prior to departure.

Give yourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the remaining days of your exchange experience! You have nearly completed the journey. Hosting for the year or semester is a very big commitment. Your student’s natural parents trusted you to take care of their child, to welcome them as part of your family, and guide them through the year. You have generously given them that gift. You have ridden the roller coaster of having a teenager in your house! Many of you now feel you have a son or daughter from another country. Your time, extra effort and energy have created special memories that we hope will last a lifetime for your family and your student. Thank you!

We sincerely hope you have found this to be a valuable and enriching experience.

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