Family life

A new experience: Living with a foreign exchange student


Our first family photo at the airport.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but things have been kind of crazy. There’s been a lot of changes going on that I will be talking about in other posts. One of the huge changes that has happened since my last post is that we now have a 15-year-old boy living in our house. We’ve talked about doing it in the past, but this year we decided to take a leap of faith and invite a foreign exchange student to live with us for a year.

Once we were approved and chose our student we couldn’t wait for him to get here. All we knew was that he’s a 15-year-old Spanish boy and that he said he was a funny, outgoing boy. His paperwork said he loved soccer and wanted to be a vet when he grew up. Other than that we were clueless. What was he going to be like? Are we going to regret bringing him here? How am I going to deal with a teenage boy? Is he going to like the kids?

Ivan (pronounced E-bon) arrived from the Spanish island of Mallorca (pronounced May-or-cu) on August 15. We were very excited, but very nervous. Once Ivan got here though our anxieties went away.

He’s only been here a few weeks and I’m already dreading when we have to send him back home. Josiah and Samuel adore him and we’ve all had a lot of fun together. It is interesting though because there are things in America that we take for granted that have to be explained to foreign students.

We had to show Ivan how to operate the dish washer, shower, washing machine, and things like that. You wouldn’t imagine that things could be so different in a foreign country, but they are. Culturally they have to learn that people should say excuse me when they step in someone’s way or need to get through. They have to learn that some people find bodily functions fascinating and not rude.

The funniest thing so far is when Ivan opened the new container of dish washing detergent. I normally buy the liquid kind, but the powdered kind was on sale. Instead of opening it at the little metal tab in the front (which is where we all know to open it), he ripped the top of the container open. Little things like that happen all the time if I’m not careful.

I’ll definitely be posting more about our adventures in the future.


3 thoughts on “A new experience: Living with a foreign exchange student

  1. Pingback: A new experience: Living with a foreign exchange student | Teacher and Woman of God

  2. I love this story. Very interesting. Having a foreign exchange student must be amazing. But it is almost like raising another child. But I hope you the best and you have encouraged me to look into either foreign exchange or adoption. Thank you. God bless.

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