Hosting an Exchange Student - National Selection Day


A typical lazy Sunday turned into a whirlwind of a day for our little clan. While we sat on the couch with the sunshine coming through the windows and the football game on TV my phone rang, it was our EF Exchange coordinator. When I answered the phone she was so excited I could barely get a hello out. "I think I have found her, the perfect girl for your family," she said. At this point in our journey to welcoming an exchange student I had read around 35 applications, and no one felt right for our family. 

As I mentioned before, we have been pretty particular about who we want to welcome into our home. A lot of our boxes were a wish list, but some were not flexible. So when our coordinator told us that she knew she found the perfect girl, we may have been a little skeptical, but we were excited to read her application. "Last thing," our coordinator said, "Today is National Selection Day, and kids are being placed quickly, please, please, please, get back to me within the next five minutes," I promised, and we ended our chat on the phone. 

With my family, we opened my computer and pulled up the application our coordinator was so excited about. We read that she was from Sweden and would be going into her senior year when she came to the US. As we started to learn more, we found out why the excitement of our coordinator was so intense. She is competitive in sports and loves to watch ice hockey with her family. We knew she was the one halfway reading through her application, she checked every box, but when we got to the part where she didn't want to live with animals, it sealed the deal.

Immediately we called our coordinator and held our breath that she was still available, with a short pause, we had a yes, and now we officially have an exchange daughter coming to live with us next year. Not everything is set in stone yet; she will still have to be accepted into our county's high school and take us as a host family. But, if all goes well we will get to meet her and her family via face chat sometime in May and welcome her into our home in July/August of next year. 

Our coordinator has been sending me emails with some fun things we can do to prepare for her arrival, which is precisely what we are going to do.