Like any other academic program, a student exchange program is first and foremost an instrument of learning. The program is unique however because the lessons it is trying to teach us cannot be found in any book or lecture. The lesson here is one of tolerance, acceptance and understanding. By exposing people to others who are different in terms of culture, religion or nationality, these programs endeavor to make us realize that in spite of all of our differences, we can still coexists in harmony. In encouraging others to host exchange students, you must be able to tell a potential host of the purpose of the program, as well as its advantages, and at the same time dispel fears concerning the same. The following are some key points you should convey to others in order to persuade them to host exchange students.
- Hosting exchange students can be quite an experience. Student exchange programs have been helpful in increasing acceptance and understanding of people of other cultures and nationalities. Cultivating a healthy rapport with students from another state or culture can be very enriching. Not only do these programs give people the opportunity to meet interesting new people, it also gives them the chance to learn more about the world and broaden their horizon. For people and families who love company, being part of a student exchange program can open doors to develop exciting interpersonal relationships with exceptional individuals.
- Qualifying to host an exchange student means you are a cut above the rest. Hosting exchange students speaks well about you and your family. Not everybody who applies to be host person or host family gets accepted. Applying to be a host usually entails a heavy screening process and qualifying to be a host in an exchange program tells others that you have a very suitable and healthy environment to foster strong relationships. In addition to you having a safe and comfortable abode, this reveals that you and your family have wonderful and caring personalities that we should all strive to emulate.
- You will not end up with troublesome students. This is a concern that deserves scant consideration because usually only the best and the brightest students are selected. Typically, the only problem that needs to be addressed is that these students often get homesick. Allowing them to have access to the Internet or phone is often more than enough. Most of these students already have regular email or host mail server, so it is not going to be necessary for you to adjust your host configuration and obtain a host mail service or managed exchange. Moreover, a lot of students nowadays have accounts in various host servers or dedicated exchange servers that allow them to communicate with friends and loved ones.
Student exchange programs have been around for a very long time and yet the message it tries to instill in us often gets drowned in the noise of our biases and preconceived notions. By encouraging more people to host exchange students, we are doing our part in bridging the differences that we have and finding a common ground to stand in.