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  • Exchange student update

    Posted by K on September 5, 2007

    To whom it may concern: This blog has not entirely been taken over by mentionings of our exchange student (well maybe it has) but honestly, there isn’t much more going on at the moment besides, work, school, sleep. You may now resume your normal reading. 🙂

    The past couple of days have been tough for Ray. She has adjusted to the family and fit in so well. After her first two days, the worst of the home sickness wore off, but now she is sad for a different reason. She has several friends who are also in America at this time being exchange students. One of them is in California. She was talking to her and her friend mentioned how indebted she felt to her parents because of how expensive it was to send her here and pay for her school. This got Ray thinking along the same lines. Monday night, I knew something was wrong but she wasn’t ready to discuss it. Last night we sat down and had a long talk. Apparently it cost her parents $10,000 just to send her here; that blew my mind! I knew there would be some cost for arranging the paperwork and other things, but that is just excessive! That price does not include her plane ticket or the cost of her school (she chose a private school). She was also under the impression that more than half of that money went to the host family to provide for her during the year.  When I explained that we volunteered to host her, and are not paid anything, she was shocked.  Where does all this money go?  She is now feeling the same as her friend, that she owes her parents so much. Last night she was saying she wants to just study study study here and not have fun because she doesn’t want to feel she wasted her parent’s money. I told her that studying is very important and she does need to make it a priority, but what she will get most out of America is life experience. Not to knock our schools, but they are nothing compared with what she’s studied, she’s so much more advanced. That combined with the fact that her coursework will not transfer back to China. I want to make sure she has experiences like an American teenager. I want to make sure she sees the differences between China and America. Even if we are more laid back and relaxed, she needs that too. She has spent her whole life with 13 hour school days, 6 days a week. She needs to know that work is very important, but so is living your life. I hope we can show her this. I’ve always heard that other countries, like France, say that Americans live to work, while the French work to live. Our family is definitely a work to live family, and I want to show her that. Most important though, I want her to be happy, and so far I think she is.

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    One Response to “Exchange student update”

    1. Please email me privately about your question.

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