There is no doubt that hosting foreign students will change your perspective on live and bring you into contact with many different cultures. You are also likely to make new friends along the way. However, it is important to be aware that hosting foreign students does involve a range of challenges and the need to adjust the way you do things.
If you are considering this then it is advisable to speak to people who have already hosted students. The small details are often overlooked and may make a difference to you. Things such as late night waits at the school or bus depot for your student to arrive may be insignificant, or they may be a deal breaker! If you are happy to continue then you should speak to GP Homestay regarding the options and opportunities available. There are many other reputable businesses which can be contacted across the states.
At this stage it is useful to consider the real impact a foreign student can have on your life:
From the moment your student arrives until they return to their home they are your responsibility. It is up to you to guide them in the right way; to ensure they attend school and that their language skills improve while they are with you. In general it is similar to having your own child at home; something which you may have ort have already done.
This should not be a daunting prospect but it is important to be aware that you are their primary contact whilst they are in the country.
If you have already had children or even still have them running round the home then you will be used to every inch of space being used and a lack of quiet time. Although this is not always the case with a foreign student, as they become more comfortable it is possible they will spread themselves around your home more.
It is worth noting that many schools recommend students stay with families as the interaction between the students and your own children is beneficial for everyone. Many foreign students will attend the local high school and may spend ten months of the year with you; the relationship is bound to become more comfortable as time passes.
There will be some issues during the period of time they spend with you. This may be homesickness which can be eased by calls to home, especially via video messaging it may also be illness or even other issues such as bullying at school. It may be challenging to help your student resolve these issues but it will be ultimately rewarding.
Finally, it is important to be honest with what you expect from them and what they will receive from you. This will minimize misunderstandings and help to ensure a smooth stay for both parties. Hosting foreign students is not something that everyone enjoys doing; if it is not for you then there is no shame in this; simply talk to the school about where to go next.