Frequently Asked Questions
My student is spending a lot of time in his bedroom and talking to his natural family daily. It seems to be interfering with our ability to get to know him and make him feel comfortable in our home. What can I do about this?
When students first arrive, it is common for students to want to spend a lot of time in his or her bedroom or talk with his/her natural family or friends from home frequently. Encourage the student to come out of his room for a certain time each day and talk with your family, play a game, watch television, or help with dinner. Ask the student how he/she feels, and let them know that they can talk with you if there is something bothering them. Also, encourage the student to only call home once per week, and discuss how talking with friends or family from home too much can cause them to feel more homesick, or not want to spend time with your family. If things do not get better, talk about this with the Local Coordinator.
My student does not seem to understand why we need to know where she is going, when, and with whom. Yesterday, she came home after her curfew and she did not call to let us know she would be late. What do I do?
Oftentimes, students from areas where public transportation is easily accessible are not familiar with needing to let their parents know where they are going, when, and with whom. It is more common for American parents to want to know all the details about the student’s plans and whereabouts. Additionally, parents in the United States need to know this information in advance. This is also a common “learning experience” for students, since those who are used to relying on public transportation are not accustomed to having to consider coordinating rides from other people or discussing plans in advance. Explain your curfew rules to your student and why they are important.
My student’s grades do not count in his home country, and he is not trying. How can I get through the student that it is important that he/she do well in school?
Regardless of whether students receive credit for their grades in their home country, CIEE Program Rule #8 requires that students maintain a C+ average or higher in each class. Remind your student that they are a representative of their home country and that they should put forth their best effort at school.
Are students allowed to drive on the program? What if the student is driving the car with myself or my spouse in the passenger’s seat?
No, as stated in CIEE Program Rule #10, driving on the program is against program rules and will lead to the student being dismissed from the program and needing to return to his/her home country immediately. Students are permitted to drive only with the instructor of an official driver’s education course, during class hours.
Can a host family require a student to attend church?
No, the host family cannot require the student to attend church. However, oftentimes church is a big part of the host family’s life, and it is a nice gesture for the student to go to church once with the host family, in order to spend time with the family.
Tip: You can suggest your student performs their Community Service requirement child minding during service if they are not interested in attending the actual church service.
Can the student’s natural parents visit the student for Christmas?
No, CIEE does not permit students to visit with their natural family or friends from home prior to January 1 of the 10-month program, and not at all during the 5-month program. This is outlined in Program Rule #9. CIEE has instituted this rule in order to help students adjust during the program, and in their host families. If the student were to visit with friends or family from home early in the program, it could negatively impact the student’s adjustment on the program.
I am not sure what my student should do for the community service project. How many hours does he/she need to do, and why is this a requirement?
CIEE requires students to complete eight hours of community service per semester. Encourage the student to think of what he/she likes to do, and how she/she can give back to the community. Also, the student’s Local Coordinator oftentimes has a lot of ideas from working with students in the past, so you may find it useful to ask the Local Coordinator for suggestions.
Do host families get paid for hosting?
No, however all host families may deduct up to $50 for each school month a student ive swith them on their tax return. In order to receive this tax deduction, please ask your Local Coordinator for the IRS Charitable tax form.