Getting Ready to Welcome Your New Student
Welcoming Your New Student
Welcoming your new international student can be an exciting opportunity for growth. Each time you welcome a new student into your home both you and your family embark on a new experience as unique as the individual you welcome home that year.
Sure, there are similar nuances from year to year, such as preparing your home, establishing house rules and expectations, and creating routines and schedules that the family will live by for that year. However, each student brings with him/her the culmination of their life experiences and cultural habits and beliefs.
Making them feel comfortable and welcomed in a new and foreign environment can help to set their apprehensions at bay. By conducting some simple research into their favorite foods to eat, cultural and religious background, and likes/dislikes; then finding subtle ways to incorporate these into your daily routines and conversations helps to make the students feel more at home.
Another great way to help your student feel at home is to plan a day (shortly after arrival yet before the start of the school year) designed to showcase your hometown and all that it has to offer. What makes your hometown so special? When hosting an international student, cultural infusions are a norm. How will you introduce your culture to them? What local foods/flavors/entertainment do you want to share with your student? Make a list prior to their arrival and have fun showing them around your town.
Aside from preparing your home and family for your new arrival, plan a small get together at your home with your friends and close family members. The more acquaintances and friends you student has access to, the more welcomed and at home he/she will feel. Also, it helps them understand that we live in a very diverse, and culturally rich environment.
Have Fun Preparing!
For more specifics on how to prepare your home and family to welcome your student, we encourage you to visit our Host Family Guidebook to ensure arrival day runs smoothly.