Have you ever considered hosting a Chinese Foreign Exchange Student to bring Chinese culture and language into your home on a daily basis for your child(ren)? Well, you’re in good company!

Several FCC-Austin families have done so in the past, and in an effort to improve the success rates of these programs, some FCC-Austin members and non-members in our local community have kindly stepped forward to make themselves available to you. They are: The Ashleys, the Dunphys, the Lenoxes, the Wallises, and the Witts. All of these families have completed an approximate nine-month long hosting obligation to an Asian Foreign Exchange student.

These families* are very enthusiastic about helping other families:
  • decide whether they are good candidates for hosting a student, and
  • willing to assist current hosts with any relevant/timely advice based on their own experiences.

*Our Foreign Exchange Student Consultants may be collectively reached via the Yahoo!® group: FCCAustinFESConsultants.

Some Issues Encountered while Hosting a Chinese Student
While some have had very positive experiences, others have not. Sometimes host families find it necessary to renege on their obligation as soon as the agency is able to place the student in another home. Some of the issues encountered with specifically hosting a Chinese Foreign Exchange Student are:
  • Generally, Chinese students are not as balanced in their lives (they are far more studious), which would seem to not be such a bad thing. However, it’s actually rather difficult to get them out of their room to socialize and share their culture with their host family, which is essentially the whole point of these programs.
  • It sometimes becomes apparent that the Chinese student is in the program only because their parents insisted they participate—mainly to try to get into a college stateside. This can result in the student suffering from depression and being homesick.
  • Some of the host families are extremely religious and try to force this on the student. Essentially they attempt to indoctrinate them into their religion, which is very unfair and highly deceptive toward the student, however altruistic their intentions may be.
  • Nine months is a LONG time to have a “guest” in your home. While some of the families bond with the students and this formal relationship falls to the wayside as they blend into the family—which is actually a goal—others don’t.
  • Sometimes the family’s children bond quite well with the student, but the parents can’t/don’t bond with the student, which can be very awkward.

Some have wanted to share their positive experiences with you. Here’s a testimonial from Beverly Witt: Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student.

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