When your student moves out
This is an emotional time. Some families may struggle with sadness, while for others, the end of the exchange may be exciting and full of relief. These reactions are completely normal. The most important thing is being true to how you feel, whenever your exchange experience ends.
Your new normal
What does your life look like now that your student has left your home? To adjust to this change and stay connected to your student, we encourage you to try these things:
- Understand the relationship with your student will take on a new form. For those families with young children, make time to discuss this change.
- Stay busy and active—it can help your transition and adjustment go more smoothly. Pick up old hobbies or integrate new ones into your routines!
- Continue to educate yourself about their culture so you have conversation topics to discuss with them. Watch movies, read books or check out news websites/articles from their country.
- Make a playlist of songs that remind you of your time with your student or ones that represent your experience.
- Cook or bake traditional recipes from your student’s country.
- Research to see if there are any local festivals celebrating your student’s culture or heritage.
- Keep learning the language of your student through online resources.
- Find ways to continue to engage with people who shared in the experience with you. Keep in touch with those who you met because of your student or EF, whether they are IECs, RCs, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors or friends of your exchange student.
- Strengthen your connection to other EF host families through Instagram, Facebook, the host family alumni newsletter or host family webchats.
- Volunteer with EF in your local community.
"Even with other people in the house and our busy day-to-day activities, my home feels emptier than it should. We didn’t realize the small things that we would miss so much, like having her at the dinner table, chatting in the car on the way to school or watching TV together at night."
— Charity, host mom
Find the right exchange student for your family
Does your family have any hobbies or interests that you'd like to share with an exchange student? Are you looking to learn more about a particular region of the world? Consider some of these topics and start browsing student profiles today.