Becoming a Host Family
Hosting a Chinese student can be a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to share American culture and beliefs, to learn about Chinese culture and to help your own children gain an international perspective. Many host families develop long, lasting bonds with their exchange students and keep in touch long after the program has ended, opening possibilities no one could have imagined.
WEG students study for two to three years in Weiming schools in China before coming to the United States to attend, and ultimately graduate from, an American high school. American host families play an important role by providing a stable, nurturing home; a cultural background to what goes on in school, support for students adjusting to life in a strange country, and by providing room and board, and some transportation needs (including transportation to and from school and airport runs). In return, students are expected to follow the host family’s rules; they should be treated as a member of the family, more like your own child than a guest.
Taking the time and effort to get to know and develop a relationship with your exchange student is often the most rewarding part of hosting, but it can also be challenging. As teenagers studying abroad, Weiming students are going through all the awkwardness of adolescence thousands of miles from home in a foreign language and a foreign cultural context. It may take weeks or even months for your student to start feeling at home. As a host parent, should you find yourself in need of advice, support, or external help, your student’s International Student Coordinator (ISC) is a good person to turn to. Weiming’s bilingual ISCs work closely with students, parents, host families and schools on a wide range of issues including students physical, emotional, and academic well-being. Over the course of the year ISCs get to know the students very well and they can be a great asset in resolving any issues that come up. In addition to ISCs, Weiming USA has a responsive staff in Troy, Michigan that can provide support as necessary.