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 Post subject: German exchange advice
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 92
Location: the seaside
My DS is in year 8 and next week he is bringing home a German exchange student who will live with us for 10 days. They will spend the days at school together but we are wondering what to do in the evenings. DS usually gets home at 6pm-ish and has 90 minutes prep each night so we don't really do a lot of things in the week due to time constraints. Am thinking it might be a little boring for our visitor though so am wondering if we should organise something every evening or is he just supposed to do what we normally do??


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Do any others in the exchange group live nearby? It might be a good idea to arrange some informal evening get-togethers with one or two other "pairs", possibly just for football in the park, pizza, bowling, computer games etc. My DD had an exchange partner in year 9 who was rather homesick, but it was easier to keep them happy in small groups rather than just one-to-one all the time. Various activities were organised by the school but the extra informal activities in smaller groups were very helpful - when my DD made the return trip a few months later she was much more relaxed as she knew others in both the English and German groups (and she is now taking German A level, so it obviously didn't put her off!).

Also other subject teachers had to be understanding about homework during the exchanges, and often my DD was out of normal lessons for joint trips during the visit too.

But also let the guest (presumably another boy?) have some free time with a book/ phone calls home - it is quite hard work being "on show" in a new family for such a long time, and even if (as is likely) his English is much better than your son's German it will be a strain for him having to talk English so much.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:05 pm
Posts: 15
My DD did a 5 day German Exchange. School evenings German partner was happy to watch TV, read a book or play with DD2 (while DD1 was doing homework). School organised activities during the school day and we took her out all weekend. When she left we hoped she had enjoyed herself. She obviously had because her parents wrote to say how much their daughter had enjoyed her visit. When my DD went to Germany she was treated in much the same way - didn't do much in the evenings but went out and about a lot during the day. Hope it goes well next week.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 92
Location: the seaside
Thankyou both for the tips. We have organised 2 lots of weekend activities (depending on either wet or dry weather!) so hopefully that will be fine. Think I will do a mix of what you both suggested - small groups and quiet evenings as you never know what the exchange student will be like but surely we can't go wrong with a bit of both!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
We are doing this at the moment. So far we have had a party for the exchange children, it was her birthday. Watched a film, German subtitles. She just wanted facebook on the computer on the first evening. We are going on the London Eye at the weekend and looking at the shops, her request. On Sunday we fancied a boat trip to Greenwich and a pootle around the market. The children as a group have all wandered around town together.

I was really worried before she came, but she is lovely and it is so much easier than I had anticipated.


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