Exchange students as resources - sharing
    Olena Breiman

    I love working with Youth For Understanding exchange
    students ( They are a great resource.
    Please encourage your students to get involved in
    international exchange by hosting an exchange student or
    going abroad. I can help if you have any questions or need
    more info. 720-221-3696,

    Exchange students and exchange returnees have much to
    contribute to their host and home schools -and they would
    like to contribute! The key to having most of the following
    ideas work is for a teacher or administrator to be the
    catalyst or facilitator.
    1. Be a tutor or conversation partner for another student
    or an assistant in a foreign
    language class or a resource for students working on
    country projects.
    2. Be a member of a panel of international students and
    exchange returnees talking
    about their cultures and experiences as part of an
    International Day at the school.
    3. Help initiate a pen pal and/or video exchange with the
    home or school.
    4. Organize an exhibit in the library focusing on "my
    5. Publicly recognize exchange students that the school has
    hosted over the years
    through a flag display or on-going exhibit of one artifact
    from each country in the
    school entrance.
    6. Be part of a library brown bag lunch series
    on "Schooling Around the World."
    7. Be part of a school, system, or region-wide day-long
    forum for American and
    exchange students on an international issue such as the
    environment or hunger.
    8. Be part of a school mock United Nations team sponsored
    by the YMCA/YWCA or
    another organization.
    9. Help organize an evening "Exchange Fair" to publicize
    exchange opportunities to
    students and their parents - and include international
    10. Organize an international dinner and talent
    show, "Global Market," or celebration
    fiesta from another country for the community-perhaps
    working with foreign language
    classes and/or an International Club.
    11. Participate in morning announcements by speaking in
    another language or ask
    questions on the "Country of the Week” - perhaps
    emphasizing geography and
    involving an appropriate prize.
    12. Help make a video for the school in which people,
    representing cultures of all kinds,
    talk about prejudice and ways to overcome it.
    13. Write one of a series of articles entitled "Bringing a
    Global Perspective to High
    School” in the school or local newspaper.
    14. Help organize a "World Beat" dance with music from
    around the world.
    15. Demonstrate games, sports from home/host country in
    physical education classes.
    16. Help construct graphs in a math class showing
    comparative information about
    countries represented by exchange students, returnees and
    immigrants, using the
    "Population Data Sheet" published each year and available
    from Population
    Reference Bureau,
    17. Help organize an art exhibit with a common theme,
    illustrated by people from different cultures.
    18. Visit an elementary classroom, preferably at least
    twice, so children get to know a
    visiting exchange student or returnee. Teach counting or a
    simple song in a foreign
    language, share some food and be ready to answer questions.
    19. Visit a middle school classroom and talk about a day in
    the life of a 12-14 year-old in
    the home or host country.
    20. Be a constant resource in a social studies class, as
    the following scenario suggests:
    As he read the autobiographical statements students wrote
    the first day of class, Mr.
    Rowe, the teacher of American government, noted that
    Celeste was just back from a
    summer in Switzerland as an exchange student, Jacques was
    an exchange student
    who had just arrived from France to spend the year in the
    U.S., and Amin had come
    from Egypt to live with his university professor uncle and
    go to high school. "How,"
    wondered Mr. Rowe, "can these three students add to my
    class?" He knew there
    would be many opportunities for comparisons in general
    class discussion, whether
    the topic was the structure of national government or
    economic policy. The
    Presidential election unit could include a day for
    comparative reports by the three
    internationally experienced students on election processes
    in their host or home
    countries. When they studied the concept of leadership,
    perhaps Amin could tell
    about Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak and Jacques could talk
    about DeGaulle and
    Mitterand. "Why don't I know any Swiss leader?" he asked
    himself. An idea for a
    project occurred to Mr. Rowe which would enlarge the use of
    international resource
    persons and involve all students: During the mock Congress
    in the second trimester,
    an outside project could require students to interview
    internationally experienced
    persons in the schools or community on their perspectives
    on a current domestic
    issue. The results could be written up as short papers. The
    third trimester could focus
    on local government, the judicial system, and international
    relations. Perhaps Celeste
    would be interested in doing research on Swiss cantons,
    Jacques on the influence of
    the Napoleonic Code in North America, and Amin on the
    fundamentals of Islamic law.
    Class might end with a mock U.S. Senate Foreign Relations
    Committee hearing on
    four futures for American Foreign Policy, using a unit from
    The Choices Program, Watson Institute for International
    111 Thayer Street, Rm 320
    Box 1948, Brown University
    Providence, RI 02912
    ( - and asking Celeste, Jacques and Amin to
    be international
    Written by Angene Wilson, Professor, Department of
    Curriculum and Instruction, University of Kentucky, and YFU
    Volunteer and Trainer.

    International exchange program