As another successful exchange year comes to an end, students have taken their final exams, hung up their prom outfits, and packed their suitcases for the flight home. We are so proud of our students from all over the world, their great families who volunteered to host them, and their hard-working Area Coordinators. Congratulations from all of us at NWSE on beginning a lifetime of friendship across the globe!
This time of year is always bittersweet: the excitement of returning home is mixed with sadness of leaving what has been your home for a semester or even a year. Luckily, there are strategies that you and your host families can use to keep your friendship and memories alive.
- Keep in touch: Be sure to stay in touch with each other now and over the years. Commit to updating each other about important events in your life. Exchange family members often visit each other in the years following the exchange. And don't forget to stay in touch with your Area Coordinators as well! They want to hear from you!
Did you also know that NWSE has an alumni group on Facebook? Click here to join and share photos and stories and connect with other former students and families from our program.
- Get involved:
- Find a club, organization, or other program in which you can share your newfound international knowledge and experiences
- Refer one of your friends to NWSE as either an exchange student or host family
- Join a Global Ambassadors program to maintain your international skills
- Work with your school to encourage future students to follow in your footsteps
- If you're a host parent, volunteer to host another NWSE student, volunteer at a sister-city association
- Become an NWSE Area Coordinator!
- Relive the experience: We hope your exchange or hosting experience has left you with a lifetime of fond memories. In addition to sharing your exchange stories with family or friends, make a place for your experiences in your daily life: frame your favorite photos; wear the T-shirt you bought on family vacation with your hosts; drink your morning coffee from the mug that your exchange student brought you from their country. Small objects or gestures can easily become habits and fun reminders of the time shared together. Post your exchange videos and images on NWSE's Facebook page and YouTube channel!
- Practice, practice, practice: If you're a student returning home, be sure to keep up your language skills! Join your school's international or language club; watch movies, YouTube videos, and television; and read the news in English. Not only will your language skills keep you connected with your former host family, but they will also be an impressive addition to your future resume and career.
NWSE alumni, please stay in touch with us over the years! We wish each of you the best success in all your future academic, career, and personal endeavors, and we want to thank each host family member for opening their hearts and homes to their students. It was an incredible year of surprises, discoveries, and growth, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
All the best,
Your NWSE team