Bringing another culture into our home and sharing our culture and family life with a young person from another place all sounds great.
While we travel often, this could bring a taste of someplace we might not go into our home, and we would learn way more than we ever would through a book or video.
And despite the worries some extended family members had about my kids becoming Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, my kids actually like meeting new people.
Also, we finally have a home that is conducive to being hosts, and our lives are in a pretty good place to share.
But, being tied to a school calendar and dealing with a year full of school stuff would be hard for this family of free birds. With one kid taking high school science and music classes a few days a week at a charter, and the other kid taking Spanish and art at the community college, we are already tied to enough external constraints.
Also, while I really love being a hostess, I don't think I have the stamina of many of Colombian relatives who offer up their homes for extreme lengths of time. I lean towards the thought that house guests are a bit like fish in the fridge. They both have about a 3 day window before they start to get offensive.
So, when I was researching this article for North State Parent Magazine, I was super excited to learn more about short term summer stays. Some programs are as short as 2 or 3 weeks, and since it's summer, you can just roll with your usual vacation fun and bring the foreign exchange student along.
That's waaaaaaay more up my alley! As long as they were up for adventure and not prone to complaining (which I would think would be a requirement for a kid to participate in such a thing as travelling overseas and living with strangers for an extended period, but I suppose you never know....) we could totally make room for another person on our road trips.
Since my family will be spending a chunk of summer volunteering in Nicaragua, I'm not sure if we'll be available for the dates needed this year, but I'm definitely opening up the window of possibility.
If you are open to considering the idea of bringing the world to your doorstep, check out my article, and see what's available near you. This could be a fantastic opportunity for many families, but for homeschoolers especially, this could be a great learning experience!
If you've had any experiences on either end of a foreign exchange student program, whether as a traveler or a host, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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