Thank you Students and Host Families!
Itís getting close to school year end and that is hard to believe. It seems like just yesterday we welcomed these students into our homes, schools and communities. They have all done well during their time in the Midwest and Iím proud of all of them. I canít imagine being far away from my home and parents at such a young age. I commend each and every one of you and each host family too. Thank you! I hope to see some senior pictures and family pictures come into my mailbox Ė thank you so much for the ones I have already. Iíll treasure them.
Almost time to go home Ö
Iíve heard of family and/or student trips to Florida, Arizona, Louisianna, Hawaii, Branson, California, and New York being planned or being taken. It sounds like everyone is having fun but it is time to think about preparing our students to return home. Please know that separation pain will exist Ė it is inevitable. It will be emotional for the students, host families and all their new friends.
Many have already received return flight info from your sending organization (the international offices make the inbound and outbound flight arrangements). If there are any problems, please let me know. The studentís natural parents may call their agent at home for questions as well. I know some families are needing changes and I've put requests in to the NY office. Natural families have better access to this change because the International agents are working with the airlines.
There will be some packing challenges Ė this is inevitable as well. Please remember students that there are various weight limits and normally a two bag limit per passenger. Usually it is one carry on and one purse for the girls. You can call your airline ahead of time and find out what their specific rules are. I understand that there is a grandfather clause that the connecting flights will honor the rules of the originating flight.
Shipping Things Home
It may be necessary to box and ship some of the studentís things home. It is the responsibility of the student to pay those extra shipping charges. If there are more things to send than luggage allows and money allows for shipping; it may be necessary to donate some things to Good Will. Perhaps your student would like you to ship a box later when he or she can send the money to their host family. That would be acceptable with me if it is acceptable to the host family.
Luggage Ė Donít Be Overweight
Remember that students that go to the airport with overweight luggage should be prepared to pay the overweight charges. Iíve been told of students opening their suitcase at the airport and taking things out that can be left behind because they either couldnít or didnít want to pay those overweight fees. It would be easier and less embarrassing to do this privately at home.
Remember not to pack your passport and traveling paperwork. Keep that on your body or in your carry on luggage.