#CIEEHostFamilyAdvice: Preparing for Arrival

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Host Families

We might have over 70 years of experience in international exchange, but our host families are the real exports!

Every month, we ask our community to share with us their best piece of #CIEEHostFamilyAdvice. 

Below is a roundup of some tips and advice for preparing for your student's arrival: 

Start with the basics:

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"A warm welcome, calling home, tour of the house and sharing the WiFi passwords! Based upon pre-arrival Skype talks, we also planned a fun day at an amusement park, kayaking on the river and introductions to coaches for the year. Clearly, every student is different, and every home is different. Our student and our home run at full speed and he jumped right in and didn’t stop until he flew home ! It was an awesome year." - Jennifer H. 

"I love arrival day! The first official meetup at the airport is amazing! Family, friends, hugs, tears, signs and flags are waving, so much excitement in the air! So many pictures are taken! :) After that, I like to let my girls calm down at home, unpack, talk with their family, shower or nap, eat dinner, and go to bed early if necessary. The next few days we visit their school, family and friends, interesting places around town, take more pictures, and have quiet moments at home to help adjust. We keep communication flowing between everyone, so if there is any questions, everyone is comfortable asking each other anything. We are learning about each other and adjusting to a new family dynamic." - Joy D. 

Personalize your student's room!

"We try to change the room to fit the student by obtaining bedding in favorite colors, we talk a lot before arrival to find out their interests, and then I start planning activities and souvenirs to go with! The places we visit, I buy practical souvenirs like clothing items or small type memories & use those as birthday & Christmas gifts for them to take home. Excited as students 13 & 14 will be here in a few short months now!" - Donna T.

Find something from their new high school to give them:

"We order a t-shirt from the high school they will be attending over the summer so that they have that in their room waiting for them after the airport arrival. It's a small surprise that makes them excited!" - Kaity K. 

Ask your current exchange student for help:

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"I always have my current exchange students help me put together an American prep package. I always include brochures of our area, a family picture, school shirts for them and their family, candy, and other odds and ends. This year as a joke I sent parmesan cheese that comes in a shaker to my Italian student. I feel it helps get coversations started as we wait a few months for their arrival. Here is a picture of my Italian student and her natural family sporting her Hortonville gear!" - Heather H.