In August we officially become a family of four! We will be hosting two (yes, two) foreign exchange students this year. No, they aren't actually twins but that's how they refer to double placements such as ours. We are super excited to have them here. Both girls come from the same prestigious scholarship program that brought us Nadin. Only a small percentage of applicants from each country are selected for this program and we are excited to learn all about their countries and cultures. Last time we did this we got a lot of questions. So, I'm going to address those again, edited for our new students!
1. Where are they from? Not surprising I'm sure-this usually comes first!
Mariyam is from Pakistan and Oishi is from Bangladesh.
2. How old are they?
They are both 16
3. Do you have to teach them to drive? Usually this follows the age question.
No. They are actually not allowed to operate any motorized vehicle while here.
4. Do they speak English/good English?
Yes. This one always surprises me-they have to attend the public high school and maintain satisfactory grades, so somewhat fluent English is a required for the program.
5. What are their native languages?
Mariyam speaks Urdu and Oishi speaks Bengali. Students placed in the same household are not allowed to share a native language
6. Is it expensive?
No, you are required to provide three meals a day and reasonable transportation to school events and exchange program events. Plus the increased cost of electricity or water (if you have a water bill) for an additional person. Additional costs for eating out, travel or other activities are at your discretion. Scholarship students come with a monthly stipend plus an allowance for specific incidental costs.
7. How long will they stay?
Approximately 10 months-they will return home sometime after the school year ends.
8. How is it determined which student you get?
You get to pick your student. You can filter based on gender, country, scholarship vs non-scholarship, hobbies and interests. They also write an essay, answer several questions and describe their daily life and activities. You are also provided with basic academic and biographical information.