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The 10 Commandments of an Exchange Student

Any advice for exchange students?
12 years ago, May 29th 2007 No: 21 Msg: #14504  
B Posts: 2
My exchange organization (Rotary) gave me this completly awesome list of "first night questions" to go over with your host family and it is great! It gets all of these questions that need to be asked out of the way and it gets rid of a lot of would-be awkward situations. Here is the lin, you can get the list in two languages (english and the native language of the country you are going to) http://www.rotary.org/programs/youth_ex/first_night.html
hope this helps! Reply to this

12 years ago, July 26th 2007 No: 22 Msg: #16864  
N Posts: 6
Wow, some great "commandments of an exchange students"!

1. Be open, dont shy away. You only do this once.
2. Stay in contact with your new friends after you return home (its always easy to lose touch)

Im working with the site www.studentjetpacks.com building a community of exchange and international students; if you have any specific experiences / commandments you would like to share and write an article to be included under student voice, get in touch.

Enjoy your exchange. Reply to this

12 years ago, August 14th 2007 No: 23 Msg: #17951  
N Posts: 2
I live in Argentina and run a study abroad program out of Rosario. Where in Argentina are you going? What program are you studying with?
What questions do you have about Argentina, maybe I can help you answer them.
In the meantime, this is my site.
good luck with your travels.
Stephanie Reply to this

12 years ago, August 16th 2007 No: 24 Msg: #18081  
I find all this information very helpful also!! In 4 days i am leaving to study abroad in chile!!! I am in the final stages of packing and getting ready to go but if anyone has travel tips for south america or destinations you recommend please let me know!! Also please visit my blog once it gets up and running!!!!

ang 😊 Reply to this

12 years ago, August 16th 2007 No: 25 Msg: #18082  
oh ps. jessica that website is perfect thanks for the help!! Reply to this

12 years ago, November 10th 2007 No: 26 Msg: #22280  
Studying abroad is the greatest invention since sliced bread. I saw this discussion on the front page, and thought that I could share some things that made my personal experience worthwhile:

- Don't hang around people from your own country whilst away. It is hard, especially at the beginning of semester when you're all alone in a strange new place and you want some familiarity. But in my opinion this is the greatest sin to commit while on exchange!

- Really make the effort to immerse yourself in their culture and way of life. Then you get to do and experience things that you would never do back home. I went on exchange in Finland, and some of my favourite memories include Ice-hole Swimming every week or two, and playing Ice Hockey about 3/4 times a week! You can't do that in Australia - and it's something I miss when its +40°C in the summer!

- Learn the language.

- Instead of travelling around extensively in nearby countries, make sure you travel within your host country too. I regret missing the whole Finnish summer while travelling around Europe... though Europe was good too 😊

- Put the effort into making friends with the locals, even if this means that you have to go to places and events by yourself to be meet them.

- Join local student groups/societies.

- Although Dan ("Hutcho") is right in that you shouldn't study too hard so you can have way more fun, I think the "study" aspect of exchange is good in some ways. I was able to do really interesting units at my host University which are not taught at any university in my whole State. In an International Armed Conflicts course we discussed conflicts in Sudan, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, East Timor etc. Real eye-opening stuff. Made the UN Security Council seem rather incompetent...

- Lastly, operate on a policy of no regrets! Whenever an opportunity or invitation comes your way, just take it no matter what.

At a young age, exchange is the best way to open your eyes to the world, and you'll make lifelong friends with so many cool and like-minded people from all over. Although I had travelled before, that chapter of my life really kick-started my passion for travelling. Many of my close friends have studied abroad (Hutcho, Joel, Michaelpaddo, Sashi, Myself) and we always love exchanging our own stories and reminiscing about those good times.

Have fun! 😊
Reply to this

7 years ago, February 12th 2013 No: 27 Msg: #166242  

In response to: Msg #10169

Everyone has touched on this point in one way or another - if you have an open and adventurous mind everything else will fall into place. You really have what you need if you are taking the plunge to become an exchange student. When I was an exchange student it was pre- Internet and blog, it's amazing to be able to reach out to this community for support.

I'm unavailing my verbatim journal entries as the occurred 20 years ago. No detail spared. Some of the posts may ensure you - or entertain you. I did break some rules for sure. Www.fallingdownunder.com Reply to this

6 years ago, July 15th 2013 No: 28 Msg: #172926  
I am about to host my first foreign exchange student who will be joining me from Germany. She is 15 years old and will be living with me for a year. I know that no matter how may blogs I read or how prepared I think that I am, the experience will differ from what I'm envisioning. So I have a couple of questions to help me better prepare:

If you've traveled as an exchange student, what made you feel more comfortable when you arrived to your host family? Was there something special that they did, or you wish they would have done?

Did they have pre-set rules for you in terms of curfews, expected house chores, community service programs, etc? The program that I'm working with has certain rules that the students are required to follow such as the basic no alcohol or drugs, no driving, no traveling with "new" friends to out of state destinations, etc items. I'm thinking more in terms of inside the home. The program coordinator suggested that I make a basic list, but other than thinking of things like having to be home by 9pm on a school night and having to ask permission before going out with friends, I can't think of many things. They also suggested giving my student one or two daily household chores to do. Were you required to do household chores when you were abroad? If so, what chores are appropriate? Is asking the student to un-load the dishwasher too much to ask?

If you've done an exchange program...did you do your own laundry while staying with a host family or did the host parents do it for you?

What about personal hygiene products? Did your host parent provide them for you on arrival, did you bring your own, did you shop for them after you arrived?

Any tips and information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. Reply to this

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