Student Exchange Policy

1. POLICY

Our purpose of the program is to offer students a safe, affordable, and meaningful learning experience in a foreign country. The exchange students will study/work in the chosen sister city while being hosted by local families during the period of their stay. All students living or attending school in the city of Pasadena may apply to the program.

2. ORIENTATION PROGRAM

2.1  An orientation is given for all participating host families and visiting students from our sister cities. This orientation is an opportunity for host families and visiting students to meet for the first time and to review together the purpose and guidelines of the PSCC student exchange program. An overview of the city of Pasadena, Pasadena City College, transportation options, and various planned activities will also be included.

2.2  A separate orientation is given for students, and their parents, selected to visit one of our sister cities. This orientation covers the purpose and guidelines of the exchange program and includes an introduction to the language, culture, and destination city, host family gifts, packing, and homesickness. All students under 18 years of age are required to attend along with their parents.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES OF HOST FAMILIES

3.1  Host families welcome exchange students into their homes as members of the family. For host families, it is an enriching experience. For the student, it is an opportunity to experience life in another culture in all its richness and diversity.

3.2  Host families are unpaid volunteers who provide the students with a room and most morning and some evening meals. They also offer the students the invaluable opportunity to experience foreign family life and opportunities to participate in various planned activities.

4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENT

4.1  In the city and country of their destination, students shall be prepared to adapt to living as their host families do.

4.3  Students shall adapt to host family meal times, sleep time, and other aspects of the host family’s normal daily life.

4.2  Students shall abide by PSCC guidelines, fitting themselves into the routines of their host families.

4.4  Students shall be relatively self-reliant and not expect their hosts to do everything for them.

5. RECOMMENDED BEHAVIOR

The following points are recommendations and are not intended to be a complete list.

5.1  Since the host family assumes responsibility for student’s welfare while a guest in their home, it’s important for the student to let them know of his/her plans. These include where the student plans to go, with whom, and when he/she plans to return. If the student changes his/her plans, be sure to call the host family to let them know.

5.2  Be on time for meals, social events, and all planned activities.

5.3  Carefully make the bed each day. Keep the room neat. Offer to help with tasks, such as setting the table, preparing the meal, or washing dishes – just as any family member might.

5.4  Be considerate in his/her use of the telephone. Ask permission first. Then, keep the conversations short and to the point. If it is necessary make long distance calls, make sure to pay the host family for the call.

5.5  Do not expect the host family to do everything for student, such as driving him/her places and providing entertainment.

5.6  If something is puzzling or confusing, ask a member of the host family for clarification. Cultural differences can sometimes be challenging. This is also a good opportunity for mutual learning.

5.7  If the student needs something that does not seem to be available, ask the host family for assistance. Sometimes one small item can make a big difference.

6.FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1  Students should expect to pay for all expenditures beyond room and board.

6.2  Expenditures include–but are not limited to–lunches, meals in restaurants, entrance fees to museums and entertainment events, special foods, and all personal items.

7. SUMMARY REPORT

7.1  All students are expected to write a summary report of their experiences as well as ‘thank you’ notes to their host families.

7.2  Returning students are expected to present an oral report at the October general committee meeting.

7.3  To prepare for these reports, it is recommended that the student keep a journal and take pictures, if they own a camera. This will help make the experience more meaningful and the writing of a summary report easier.

7.4  Suggestions will be made on what might be included in journal entries at the orientation.