Your son or daughter is about to embark on an exciting, enlightening, and sometimes scary journey that will be different from anything he or she has previously experienced. You have already done most of the preparation your son or daughter needs to be a successful Exchange Student, through all that you have taught and instilled in them.
We have accepted this person to be an ambassador to another country because of the personality characteristics and aptitudes he or she displayed in the application and during our interview process.
We believe your son/daughter can handle the challenges of living in another culture, with families different than yours, and with different rules, guidelines, and controls than those at home, and we will do all we can to prepare your student for the changes he or she will likely experience.
We now need your commitment to help prepare him/her for a successful exchange by attending the Outbound Orientations that are scheduled.
Much of your student's success will depend on how you help him or her prepare for these adjustments during the next few months, and how you act -- or react -- to the feelings and emotions your student will very likely experience before, during, and after this exchange year.
While we certainly do not know your son or daughter as well as you do, we do know how hundreds of “typical” exchange students from past years have reacted to these changes, and offer this information to parents as an aid to you.
Please start now, before he/she leaves on their exchange, to let him/her “Manage” their exchange year and plan for it. Yes, guide them, but do not do things for them. They need to take responsibility for their exchange, make decisions, follow-up on paperwork, and prepare for their year abroad. If they cannot do that before they leave, how are they going to do it when you are not there and they are thousands of miles away.