Week 1

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Query them about their likes and dislikes, and try to make them feel at home.

Learn about your student’s culture. Ask questions. Learn phrases in your student’s native language. If you don’t understand, ask! Don’t suffer in silence because you’ll never learn what you don’t know.

Provide three meals a day, including meals that represent your own culture and traditions.

Set ground rules and what you expect to happen in the household. Help them understand there will be consequences when (not if) they screw up. Use your Orientation Worksheets to figure out ahead of time how you will deal with various situations, including all money issues.

Provide transportation or teach them the public transportation system in your town. Consider asking them about getting a used bicycle, if that is a safe option in your town. Talk to them about acceptable options for getting rides from friends and parents of friends. Be sure you know the names and numbers of anyone from whom they will be accepting transportation.

Insist that students call their parents and family at least every other week, but no more than once a week for the first three months. They should be communicating and bonding with you and the CR, not the natural parents (who may be emotional and therefore not helpful in the student’s adjustment).

Communicate the expectation for hygiene – teeth brushing, showers, changing sheets and towels. Decide if you will purchase soap, shampoo, and other items or expect the student to purchase his or her own. Some families like one communal supply to keep the bathroom tidy; others are happy with individual bottles.

Take the student shopping for an American cell phone. Show him how to set up voicemail, and help the student add family contact numbers to their “favorites”. The student MUST use his own credit card/bank account for cell phone purchases and bills. Do not blend your money or offer to cover the costs of the phone for the student. If he does not have the money yet, wait to get the phone.

Establish when, where, and how long student is allowed on computer/phones/devices. Start small until the student has bonded with you and proved that she can handle the load of school work.

Take the student shopping for décor and personal items that reflect his tastes.

Some days can be overwhelming for the student and for your family. Give your student space and take some of your own; allow quiet time in separate rooms or go on walks so you can have alone time.

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