October Counselor’s Corner
By Ellie Bucciarelli, Greenheart Exchange High School Programs Student Counselor
October has arrived and hopefully, everyone has found a friend, joined an activity and has started to feel at home with their Host Family. For some, friends are super important. For others, just a few close friends are good. Whatever your personality, make sure to try and get to know your classmates, neighbors and Host family.
This month everyone should be in the routine of school, homework, helping one another out and acclimating to the food and transportation. October can also, at times, be a month of some unsettling feelings. The newness of the Program has worn off and you may begin to see things with a new set of eyes. Wherever one lands in the world, questioning how the local population lives is completely normal. It can be very uncomfortable to try new ways of living from what you eat to the clothing style choices at your local school. You may find yourself missing the comforts of home and routine more now than a month ago. Here are a few tips to get through this transition:
- Make sure to direct your feelings in a healthy manner. Talk with your Host Family, LC, write in a journal, speak with Greenheart Student Support-Ellie or Karen.
- Remember you chose to be here. Be patient with yourself and others.
- Try new ways of living. This is a big part of the Program.
- Remember you are interested in learning about your student and their culture. Ask questions.
- Be patient with your student. The challenges are real.
- Learn about the history of the United States and your local area.
- Stay positive. At least one good thing happens every day!
- Learn from a bad experience or uncomfortable feelings and move forward. The Program is only 9 months; no time to dwell on the negative.
- Get involved, stay out of your room and be a part of your Host Family, Community and School
- Remember, you represent your country. Others see your country through your actions.
- Criticize how others live or compare your country/city to where you currently live. It’s super easy to compare and criticize when we are out of our comfort zone! Look at the differences as a learning experience. We all live differently.
- Post negative feelings about your Host Family, School, Student or town on social media.
- Expect things to be like home.
- Be too hard on yourself. This is all new for you.
Enjoy October and all it has to offer. Football games, Homecoming, Halloween, and Fall Festivals are a few activities you should look out for and give a try.
Immerse yourself into your new culture. You will not lose who you are inside, but you will give yourself the gift to grow! It’s a priceless gift!