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 Post subject: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
We (hopefully) have an exchange student coming to stay in a month or so.

Does anyone have any advice/horror stories/ideas for things to do?

We're in Birmingham but I was hoping to take him to London (Tower of London and a few other sights) for the day if the school/time allows...


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
Posts: 99
If this is via the school then try and get a copy of what the students are doing as part of their organised stay and then think of the things that you would like to see if you were a stranger to the country?

We're in the same boat - two teenage girls coming to stay - two teenage boys in the house and potentially a house full of puppies if the dog obliges :s


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
Do you know it's definitely a him? I understood that the huge attraction of the German exchange is that half of them aren't...

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
We've put in a special request, mike1880, and have been assured that it will indeed be a 'him' :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Warwickshire
We have an exchange with us at the moment and have had three others in the past. I think the trick is to keep them busy ... And not too much culture ( like any teenager they can get overload). I would suggest you add Cadbury World, Drayton Manor, Ice-skating, bowling to your list of possible outings/trips. When at home board games are a good international ice breaker. We also try to do things with other exchange students especially over the weekend, it certainly helps with their enjoyment if not their English. If possible co-ordinate with other families beforehand and draw up a bit of a timetable.
We enjoy the exchanges and it is great experience for our DC not just culturally and linguistically but also learning about hosting and entertaining.
They are quite full-on hard work weeks. Have fun!.


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:43 pm
Posts: 523
Location: Twells
We had an exchange student two weeks ago and DD is in France at present. Very good idea to coordinate with other families it takes the pressure off both yourself and the poor student who can find concentrating on speaking 100 % English quite exhausting.


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2585
I agree that some teenagers are not too much into cultural things but I feel that all depends on their background. Personally, even as a teenager, I would have liked to visit places like Stratford-upon-Avon or Oxford if I was spending some time with a family in Birmingham. It is certainly due to the great influence my parents had on me during my childhood by spending many weekend or holidays with 'cultural' activites (Greece, Italy,etc., or simply in France in places like Bayeux tapestry museum or museum in Arromanches about the D-day landing, etc..). I am sure that many children of parents on this forum receive a well-rounded education, including sport, music, and visits to museum!! :wink:

You could also take him to Warwick castle. Or maybe the Black Country museum or Shugborough historic estate?... weather permitting of course!

Cadbury World is a very good idea on a rainy day, but only if the level of oral comprehension of this student is good as there are steps during the visit when the visitors have to listen to audio explanation. It wouldn’t really be worth to pay an expensive entrance ticket if the German teenager won’t a understand a thing for a third of the visit :shock: , even if at the end, the chocolate degustation is great!

A visit to the Sea life Centre could be an easier option in term of understanding for a foreigner. Never forget that it is easier to understand written explanation than an oral one - spoken nineteen to the dozen in the ear of a speaker of another language :shock: :shock: !

Maybe you could get some leaflets from these different places from now on so that the German student makes his own choice according to his tastes?

Bowling seems to me a very good idea, because that might be an activity that - as a German child - he doesn't often do in his country (question mark here; I don't know enough well German culture to know about that. But I do know that French people are not used to go bowling..(or at least, it was like that 20 years ago :lol: )? Also playing some cricket!!! Think about what the British culturally do and that the German don’t usually do. :wink:

If your DS has some regular sporting activities, he could ask his instructor to bring along his exchange student against a fee for that particular lesson. I used to do that with my German penfriend when I was young: paying her the tennis lessons during the weeks she was staying in France... We used to do three weeks total immersion! Two summers in a row!! That was great!

and there is the go-kart in Birmingham. I can't remember how old the children must be to drive there!

I really hope that your Germna student will 'fell in love' with England! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
Thank you -all - for the advice and suggestions.

It has given me something to think about - firstly that when we have the parent's meeting, I must get to know a few other families and see if we can work together, and secondly, that my idea that we have to make the 'most' of the visit and see loads of British culture and have no leisure, may not be entirely appropriate for all 13 year olds.

I feel that Cadbury World is aimed at younger children, but definitely like the idea of go-karting and bowling.

Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick Castle with St Nicholas Park could be great days out too - I will try and arrange a group outing with some other families.

The children were also suggesting a trip out for a curry or Indian buffet...do German's like curry? :lol: I suppose Pizza Hut could be a safer option...


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
I'd recommend Calke Abbey (National Trust property up the M42) which has huge grounds, great for kite flying and also geocaching or just a gentle stroll by the river (we saw a herd of deer crossing the river).

Kenilworth castle is good too.

How about Laserquest, you don't need to speak during that. I once had to sort out the entertainment for 5 Japanese men over on a business trip, Laserquest was a huge success and there is no speaking required when you are playing.


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 Post subject: Re: Exchange Student
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
Another thought, PizzaExpress do pizza making parties at their restaurants, my son has been to one and enjoyed it throughly. This could be a great bonding activity for a number of families and their exchange students, it is even suitable for little ones so some of the younger members of your brood could take part too.


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