Explore
Questions/Comments?Contact Us

Thank You!

Summer is here! Students are beginning to return home and goodbyes are a challenging thing for everyone. Students will experience highs and lows with their enthusiasm of returning home and the sadness of leaving all of their new friends and family in your community, as will your family in saying goodbye!

CIEE would like to take a moment to express our sincere thanks to you and your family for opening your hearts and your homes to one or more of our CIEE exchange students for the past 5-10 months. We know that you invested a lot of time and energy into making this experience a positive one for your student. We sincerely hope that you and your student have learned and grown together and that you have developed a strong relationship that will last a lifetime!

Please share some of your highlights through quick excerpts, photos, or videos on our Facebook page.

If you are interested in hosting again in the coming year with CIEE, or if you know a family in your area who is interested in hosting, please contact your Local Coordinator immediately to get the process started or go to our website to fill out a new host family application.

In the meantime, we leave you with the final updates of the season.

Hank you

Confronting Reverse Culture Shock

The school year is coming to a close and soon your exchange student will be returning to his or her home country. They will be reuniting with friends and relatives who they have not seen in a year! While they may be excited about returning home, they may also be a bit nervous and sad to leave their life in the U.S.

Going home is often accompanied by something called reverse culture shock. After spending 10 months in the U.S. living in a new environment, your student may now face challenging feelings of disorientation and adaptation when they return to their home country. Reverse culture shock is similar to culture shock, but it occurs when you return to an environment that you once knew well. Among other things, symptoms can include fatigue, frustration, homesickness for the US and your family. Sometimes students are overwhelmed by their return home and, as a result, find themselves overcome by feelings of displacement and sadness.

How do you support your exchange student through his or her transition home? How do you help them say goodbye to friends that they have made while they were here? What if everything at home has changed for them? What if they have changed? To find out more about ways to deal with reverse culture shock please read the CIEE policy gram on reverse culture shock on our website

Culture shock

 

Resolving Outstanding Issues (I.E. Phone bills, Borrowed Items)

Before your student leaves your home it is extremely important to resolve any outstanding issues such as unpaid phone bills that may have been in the host family’s name, insurance bills and have them return any borrowed items before they pack to leave the U.S. Make sure you are clear with them about what items may have been gifts and what items you may have loaned them but expect to get back before they depart from your home.

Finger

Shipping Boxes Home, Buying Gifts for Family (I.E. Ipods, Laptops, Cell Phones)

Many students end up buying lots of gifts for their family and friends back home before they leave the US and then ship them home ahead of time. If you notice that your student is spending a lot of money on iPods, laptops or cell phones, you should talk to your student and remind them to budget wisely. If you have any concerns about your student’s lack of finances or their overspending, please bring this to your Local Coordinator’s attention so that he or she can inform CIEE. We will then check with the student’s Natural Parents to make sure that they have enough money to spend each month.

Boxes

Bringing Your Exchange Student to the Airport

Please make sure to bring your student to the airport for his/her return flight and to help them check in AT LEAST 3 HOURS ahead of time in order to allow ample time for your student to check in, go through security, and board his/her flight. Do NOT put a student on the plane without his/her luggage! If your student has a cell phone, please make sure they have the charger with them in their carry-on luggage and that their cell phone is fully charged in case of emergencies, flight delays or cancelations. Also please make sure your student has extra money in order to pay for extra baggage fees, snacks and meals at the airport, or any other unexpected expenses while en-route to their home country. Lastly, please make sure to tell your student to contact CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 if they have any flight issues or cancelations during their return trip home.

Airport

Final School Transcripts and Convalidation

Please note that depending on your student’s home country and its specific school requirements, your student may need to convalidate his/her US high school grades. Convalidation is the process that exchange students use to translate their US grades and transfer credit for their high schools abroad. Generally, this process involves sending an official school transcript to an appropriate government agency (Secretary of State or consulate) to receive a seal of validation, which certifies the grades as authentic. The convalidation process is different for every country and not all countries require it – please visit the Convalidation page to find out if your student’s home country requires convalidation and for country-specific instructions. Please note that for Italian students, this requirement depends on their school in Italy. Students from Italy will have to check with their schools back home first to ensure that their school documents will indeed need to go through the Secretary of State and Italian Consulate. Also as a reminder, the convalidation process is the student’s responsibility.

Convalidation

Transcript Collection

Please remind your student to collect their official high school transcript before leaving the USA!

Bow

Anticipation of Going Home- Importance of Staying Focused on the Present

Many students start to think about going home months in advance and sometimes can lose their focus on their last few weeks with your family. While it is important to plan ahead and prepare, it is also important to stay present and make the most of the last few weeks on the exchange program. If you notice that your exchange student is spending lot of time talking to his/her Natural Parents or if they are starting to disengage from your family, remind them to reconnect with you in order to fully enjoy your time together before he/she departs and return to their home country. 

Importance of staying

Convalidation tips for Host Families

If your student is from any of the countries below, he/she will need to convalidate:

  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia  
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Venezuela


Convalidation is the process that exchange students use to translate their US grades into transfer credit for their schools back home.  This process typically involves sending the official school transcript to the appropriate government agency (Secretary of State’s office or Consulate) in order to receive a seal of validation or apostille to certify the grades as authentic. 

Please note that it is your student’s responsibility to take care of the convalidation process.  If your student requires assistance or has any additional questions, they can contact the Support Department at CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 or support@ciee.org.  

Convalidation

Bringing your Exchange Students to the Airport

Please make sure to bring your student to the airport for his/her return flight and to help them check in AT LEAST 3 HOURS ahead of time in order to allow ample time for your student to check in for his/her flight. Do NOT put a student on the plane without his/her luggage! If your student has a cell phone, please make sure they have the charger with them in their carry-on luggage and that their cell phone is fully charged in case of emergencies, flight delays or cancellations. Also please make sure your student has extra money in order to pay for extra baggage fees or any other unexpected expenses while en-route to their home country. Lastly, please make sure to tell your student to contact CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 if they have any flight issues or cancellations during their return trip home.

Bringing Your Exchange Students to the Airport