Category: BLOG (71)

International students staying in your home are an extension of your family if only for a short period of time. So you want to make sure they have the same opportunities to be healthy and fit while they are staying in your home.

So what can you do to give your international student the opportunities they need to stay fit?

If they are attending your local high school, community college, or university, most schools have some sort of fitness facilities available for use by their students.

Organized Gym Classes

High schools and some colleges require students to participate in daily or regular gym classes in order to promote optimal physical fitness. So if your guest is attending one of these, you can be sure they are at least getting the minimal physical requirements for staying fit.

If you have a family membership at your local health club or fitness center, you may be able to temporarily get your international student covered under your membership. Talk to the club’s manager and explain the situation. In many instances, they will allow your guest international student to use the facilities at no additional charge.

There also are many other activities your international student can participate in to stay fit that don’t require a gym membership or some sort of formal training program.

Fun Outdoor Activities

Running, hiking, and even just walking regularly outdoors is a fun and exciting way to maintain physical fitness. Organized sports such as baseball, basketball or soccer leagues let international students compete with others while staying active.

The Hawaiian islands are surrounded by ocean and have some of the best beaches anywhere in the world. So there is ample opportunity for your international student visitor to swim as often as he or she likes.

Include your international student in all the fitness activities that the rest of your family enjoys. Not only will this help them stay in shape, but it will make them feel as if they are a member of your family if only for a little while.

 

When international students come to stay with families in the US, they usually will stay for an extended period of time, such as six months, a year or even longer.

While they are here, like anybody else they are going to want a little extra cash for the activities they want to do and to buy the things they want. But are they actually allowed to get a job?

Legal Limits on Foreign Student Jobs

The answer is that it depends on the type of visa they have received prior to entering the US.

Foreign exchange students usually are granted a J1 visa. This prohibits them from taking a paid job while they are in the US.  The only exception is for jobs that are an integral part of their program of study.

Students from overseas who are attending a university or college in the US often will be granted an F1 visa.

This limits foreign students by not allowing them to accept any type of off-campus employment at any time during the first year they are studying in the US. After the first year, they must get permission from the US Citizenship & Immigration Services if they want to get a job.

On-Campus Employment

Students with an F1 visa can work on-campus at the school they attend without getting permission from the USCIS. Both F1 and J1 students need to maintain a full course load during their stay. They also are legally prohibited from working more than 20 hours per week.

Students who have an M1 visa cannot accept employment unless the job is for the purpose for temporary practical training.

If your international student is found to be working in a job that they are not authorized to hold under the terms of their visa, it is illegal. If they are caught, it could possibly lead to deportation or problems during future immigration related work authorization.

 

Having a foreign student in your home for the first time can be a challenging experience. If it’s the first time hosting an international student, you may not be sure what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to how to treat them.

You want your guest to feel comfortable and at home while they are staying with you. But should you to so far as trust them with the keys to your house?

Treat Them Like Your Own Children

The answer is yes, especially if you already give your own children the keys to your home.

In many ways, your international student is like one of your own kids if only for the short period of time they will be staying with you. They rely on you for practically everything, from food to shelter to showing them the difference between right and wrong.

Giving your foreign student their own set of house keys shows them that you trust them.

Explain the Rules

But with this trust comes a certain amount of responsibility. Explain to your foreign student the rules that you hold your own children accountable for, such as curfew hours and when it is and isn’t appropriate to bring guests into your home.

In most cases, your international student will respect the rules you set forth. But if they should violate them, you should hold them to the same standards you do your own children.

Thanks to the Internet and such free video conferencing programs like FaceTime or  Skype, it’s much easier today to keep in touch with your international students parents. Keep them informed about the trust you are giving their child and notify them if there are any transgressions so they can be involved in the correction process.

Having a foreign student stay with you can be a richly rewarding experience. Giving them the same trust you give your own children will make them feel more like a member of the family.

Those of us who live in Hawaii sometimes take for granted the splendor that the islands have to offer. Your foreign student is sure to be astounded by both the natural beauty and the cultural history of the Hawaiian Islands.

That makes entertaining your guest student very simple. The attractions you may have been living near your entire life will be completely new for them.

Here, then, are a few day trips you can take with your international student.

  • Snorkeling — Much of Hawaii’s natural beauty lies just beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean’s waters that surround the islands. Pick up some inexpensive snorkeling gear at the Big K (Kmart), then head out to the closest beach or cove to explore submerged reefs and enjoy the wide variety of aquatic life.
  • Whale Watching — In just about every harbor in Hawaii you will find whale watching tours that you can take your international student on for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They will be thrilled at the sight of these leviathans of the deep cresting and leaping in all their majestic glory.
  • Sightseeing — As you know, around practically every corner in Hawaii is yet another incredible vista or breathtaking natural formation. On Maui, take your guest to see the Seven Sacred Pools of O’heo Gulch. On Kauai, visit the Na Pali coastline, Hanalei and Poipu. On the Big Island, go to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls, Kona and Hilo Town. Oahu offers Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Diamond Head, the North Shore and much more.
  •  Beach Hopping — There are no shortage of incredible beaches for you to take your foreign student. From black sands to barking sands, from secluded coves to the popular Waikiki, there’s practically a different beach to visit every day.
  • Cultural Attractions — From aquariums to museums celebrating Hawaiian culture and Polynesian history, there are many educational and entertaining places for you to bring your international student on the islands.

We have a lot to show off in our home state. Often, in sharing our natural beauty and culture with others, we can gain a new appreciation for ourselves.

 

The way kids today communicate with each other is  very different than it was in your day.

Talking on the phone is considered old-fashioned. So are emails. Even Facebook seems to be old-school.

How Kids Communicate Today

Instead, young people today prefer to send text messages or to exchange photos and images on such apps as Instagram, SnapChat and Vine.

And it makes perfect sense. Texting and apps are faster and more immediate. Plus, they give users more of sense or privacy. There’s far less intimacy in sending a Tweet than there is in having a face-to-face conversation or even talking on the phone.

Technology Creates a Lack of Privacy 

One of the downsides of this trend is that there is a permanent digital record of practically every interaction young people have online. Once something is on the Internet, it’s there forever.

While there are ways to prevent other people from seeing your online communications — clearing your browser history, password protecting your access device and online accounts, or erasing all previous texts in a conversation string, for example — most kids don’t remember to do this.

As a a result, the opportunity is there for anybody to see everything they have been saying or doing online. All you need to do is pick up their smartphone or tablet, click a few buttons, and there it is.

Respecting the Privacy of  Foreign Students

As parents, the decision about whether or not you should snoop on your children’s private conversations and other online activities is up to you.

Many parents who suspect their kids may be doing something they shouldn’t sometimes will look at their text or review their browser history. This is actually nothing new. Moms and dads have been peeking in their children’s closets and under their beds for generations.

Foreign Students Aren’t Your Real Children

But when it comes to foreign students staying in your home, their privacy needs to be completely assured. You may be standing in for their parents while they are staying with you, but you don’t actually have any parental rights — especially when it comes to their privacy.

If you think something suspicious may be going on, let their actual parents know so that they can deal with it. Don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable — or even illegal — position by violating their privacy by looking at their Internet activities or text conversations.

 

One question many host families of international students have is whether or not they should allow their guests to go to concerts, clubs or other nightlife events. You want your international student to have the most well-rounded experience during their visit, but you also want to ensure that they are safe and make responsible decisions.

So what should you do?

You Are Not Alone in Decision-Making

You may be your guest student’s parents in absentia, but they still have actual parents back home. And keeping lines of communication open with those parents is easy given today’s web-based technology.

Should your international student ask to attend a rock concert or some other nightlife event, simply inform them that it’s okay with you as long as they receive their parents’ approval first. If your guest’s parents decide that they aren’t ready for that type of freedom and responsibility, then you can abide by their wishes.

If they grant permission for your international student to attend the nightlife event, then you need to inform your guest student that they are required to abide by the same rules that your own children must follow — behave responsibly, no drinking or drugs, home by a specified curfew, and so on.

Keeping Them Safe

Going to concerts is a rite of passage for most teenagers. Experiencing the thrill of having that much freedom is an important part of their development. But because you are responsible for your international student while they are a guest in your home, you also want to make sure they are safe.

Make sure you know and trust the other teenagers who will be attending the event with your international student. Arrange to drop them off at the venue before the concert and pick them up afterwards. And let them know that they can call you anytime and you will be there for them if they need you.

Dealing with your international student’s request to attend a concert or other nightlife event doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. Follow these guidelines and it can be a rich and rewarding experience for everybody.