M.Seles_Fan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 999 times:
I'm studying German this semester in school, and I'm thinking about spending a month in Germany through the exchange program offered through my university. I thought I'd ask to see if anyone here has hosted an exchange student or been an exchange student, and what I should expect. Thanks!
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13165 posts, RR: 78
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 988 times:
In 1968(!) my family hosted a French student girl, I only was not much more than a baby at the time.
We stayed in touch, the French girl became a teacher, including tutoring English, and she has used the friendships made here in the UK to help arrange school trips etc, even to this day.
She is married with a grown up son now, my Mother and her still exchange Christmas and birthday cards, the last time she was over here, and I saw her, was in July 2001.
MBMBOS From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 986 times:
When I was a teenager, my family hosted an exchange student from Belgium. It was a wonderful experience that transformed our whole family and changed the family dynamic. Mind you, it wasn't always easy. There were many cultural confusions that transpired, but we muddled through.
I think it was a wonderful experience, but it takes a firm commitment to be open to different views/lifestyles and a willingness to communicate.
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 971 times:
I spent a month in England in October 2002 as an exchange student over there, and all I can say is that it was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and if you have the chance you should definitely do it-you won't regret it...any questions please feel free to post them here or email me...
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TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 969 times:
My partner was an exchange student for a year in Germany when he was in college. That was 30 years ago, and he is essentially a member of his German family to this day. His one "sister" moved to the U.S. and lived 15 minutes away from him (until he moved to NY 2 years ago); we saw his "mother" 3 times this past year (she came over here twice, we went over there).
It's an incredibly rewarding experience, and the BEST way to learn the language. I was an exchange student of sorts in high school through the People to People program - stayed with families in England, Denmark and Sweden for a week apiece. Unforgettable, and greatly influenced my thinking.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4692 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 951 times:
I spend some time as an exchange student at a Colorado and a Texas high school in spring of 1992 and 1993 respectively. Those were some of the happiest times of my life - my host families and I were perfect matches, so after a few days I didn't feel like I was living with foreign people, but rather like with my real family. The fun I had, and the language skills and cultural understanding of a different country I got this way were certainly rewarding.
Until today I am still in contact with my Texan host parents and visit them once every two or three years. I'm am glad I got the chance to meet so many wonderful people whom I would have never seen if I had just visited as a tourist.
So I#d say - DO IT!
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
OdiE From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days ago) and read 930 times:
I have been to Perth, Australia when I was 15 for a week's stay with an Australian family. It was really awesome and I get to understand more of the Australian culture (although it was a bit short). But yeah, if you ever have the opportunity to do such things, go ahead! I will like more of these opportunities!
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8685 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 915 times:
M.Seles_Fan, I bet you'll kick your ass later if you don't! I've been on student exchange to Brazil for one year, and although my host family was a bit weird, I'd definitely do it again. Spending time abroad in a host family is one of the most rewarding things I can think of, so DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO it!!!!!!!! You can learn the language that way (not comparable to school or courses in any way) and speak it alomst fluently after some three months, you get to know about how the people really are, you learn how to deal with things that couldn't bother you at home - because they don't exist there etc. If there is any possibility to extend that month to a longer stay, do not hesitate to try! It may seem like "lost time" to many, but this is not what it's all about. You don't lose time when living and learning; which is what all exchange students do most of the time.
"Collateral effect": You will probably be suffering from severe wanderlust once you'll have had to return "home"!
PS: If you want to contact me about living abroad, feel invited to do so!
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
Scorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 5014 posts, RR: 44
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 909 times:
When we went to Denmark with our school in 1994 (I was 16 at the time) we stayed in a host family there. Two years later, we went to the USA (Sacramento, CA) for two weeks and again stayed in host families. I can say that these trips to this date (especially the one to the US) are still the best I've ever had. It's the best way to really get to know a country and its people. So I can highly recommend it.
In 1994, we an exchange student from Hawaii for about 10 days. Great experience too!
Racko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 903 times:
When I was a student, we did a student exchange with France and England. In 8th grade we hosted a guy from Rugby in England (the town is famous for it's school) for 2 weeks and I later went to Rugby and was hosted by his family. In 10th grade I went to Evreux in France and was hosted by a funny big family (grand parents, parents and 4 children) for 3 weeks, later he stayed with us for 3 weeks.
All I can say is that these trips where some of the highlights of my school time, it was great fun to stay (and party ) in a different country with a different culture, and when I had to travel home I had always wished we could stay there longer.
Imho these trips are the best way to learn a language, as you're forced to speak the language and the people surrounding you speak the language aswell.
So, I can just second what the others said: Do it!