First and Last name: Maria Nigro Di Stefano
Region/Schools that you oversee: Boston
Years with Educatius International: 3-4 years
1. What are the main reasons for an American host family to host an international student?
Our Host Families host for varies reasons. We have many people with small children of their own who they want to have them experience different language and culture. We have a few “empty nesters“ that have already raised their own children but that miss all the chaos and teh activity that teens bring.
2. What are the biggest challenges that students face when they first arrive in the USA?
Culture shock, food issues - What and how much we eat, fitting in with American students, homesickness.
3. How do you help international students to adjust to the American lifestyle?
We try to work with host families to limit internet/skype time. We try to keep them busy.We insist that they take up either a sport or activity at school. This helps them make American friends and helps them adjust better to our lifestyle.
4. What are some ways you develop a personal connection with the students?
By hosting monthly events – sometimes in my own home. We have created a special group on Facebook that include only the students we coordinate for. This is also a form for our 20 students to connect with each other.
5. Have you ever hosted an exchange student? How could you describe your experience?
Yes, we have hosted 14 total. We‘ve had various experiences because we‘ve have different nationalities, different personalities, and different reasons for their wanting to come to the US.
6. What are the most enjoyable aspects of their academic experience?
But since we continue to host, I would say we‘‘ve had excellent experiences overall. We have two small children that really gain experiences that they might not even be able to otherwise.