Host Parent Checklist:
ü Make a fun poster to welcome the student at the airport
ü You will get an e-mail with all the flight information but the exchange student will have the info first. Why? Their international agent makes all the travel arrangements / international flights and notifies natural parents.
ü Call the airport to confirm no delays before you go to the airport to pick up student
ü Discuss house rules with your family and document in writing for the student
ü Start a journal to document the students stay
ü If possible get the students school schedule set up (if not do right after they arrive).
ü Talk to the counselor so you are familiar with them prior to student arrival. Please ask them to note that the required classes for your exchange student are English and either American or World History.
ü Have a stack of items the student may find useful on bed or dresser prior to arrival (house key, list of phone numbers, map of city, etc.) Make the list of phone numbers small enough for them to put in billfold or purse. They should never be without an emergency contact person. The ISE National office phone number should be in that list in case of emergency. 1-800-766-4656
ü Have a place they can put pictures or souvenirs from home in the bedroom (a bulletin board is a wonderful gift for their room)
ü Confirm again arrival information from airport. Sometimes you can go to the ticket counter and get a pass to go right to the gate. Just explain that you are hosting an exchange student and would like to meet them there. It works sometimes but not every time.
ü Student will be very overwhelmed when they arrive to the
ü When you get home show the student their room and around their new home. They may need to be shown how to use the shower, toilet, etc. It just depends on where they are from as to how familiar they will be with American culture. Be prepared to assist.
ü Depending upon arrival time they may need to rest, but they may be so excited they just want to talk and talk. Be flexible and reassure them you will have plenty of time to talk if they want to rest.
ü As soon as possible (within a day or two) go through your house rules and give student a copy in writing. Please abide by the program rule that students are to pay their own long distance phone bills (many students bring an International calling card.). Also, please give your student a limit to the amount of time spent on the computer. 30 minutes per day is the suggested amount of time for using the Internet for anything other than homework purposes.
ü If possible take the student to school to register so you can introduce to counselor, principle and others. This will make the student more familiar and comfortable with the school
ü Take the student to the grocery store with you to determine what foods they like. It's a great experience because our stores are very different.
ü Student/Teacher relationships are different here then where they may come from. Try to avoid special treatment by teachers and school that can interfere with peer relationships. Also, sleep overs-may not be something they are used to so talk about it and explain.
ü Work with your student to make sure they understand the value of money – both bills and coins. Ask them how money is going to be handled from their natural parents. Do they have an International Credit Card or a Debit Card? Most bank teller machines work but sometimes they may not. If it doesn't work at one location - sometimes it works at another.