Foreign exchange student programs have been around for years. However, despite the countless number of highly reputable programs, it seems as though American families and schools are still not taking full advantage of this highly valuable educational resource. There are many benefits to hosting foreign exchange students which can help families learn more about different cultures.
First and foremost, hosting foreign exchange students, particularly those from countries which speak a different language, offer students and their families the opportunity to learn a different language. Although in many cases, foreign exchange students are required to learn the language of the country they are visiting, their host families can certainly gain a great deal of knowledge about their guest’s language by communicating with them.
Similarly, a foreign exchange student can discuss their home country’s culture with their host family. This interaction will undoubtedly allow students and their families to learn more about how people in different cultures behave, think, and generally live life. In essence, hosting a foreign exchange student allows a family to view the world through another set of eyes, without even leaving the comfort of their own home.
Interacting with an individual from a different country and culture can also foster a sense of appreciation for diversity and differences in people, particularly for students and host families. In turn, seeing how different things are in other parts of the world will also help individuals feel a greater sense of appreciation for all of the luxuries they have at home.
Hosting a foreign exchange student also provides host families with payback. Not only will you be providing a service for another individual out of your own good will, you will also be learning a great deal. In addition, many exchange program participants will also offer their host families the opportunity to come and visit them in their own homes to learn what life is like in their country.
Overall, there are many benefits to hosting a foreign exchange student. Host families and will undeniably find that opening their homes to a foreigner can be an extremely eye-opening learning experience for all members of their family, providing everyone with an equal opportunity to learn more about different cultures.