During the month of July, we will have a 15 year French exchange student coming to stay with us. He currently resides in Cesson-Sevigne which is a suburb in western France directly east of Rennes. He is coming via a private exchange program and he’s never been to the US but he has studied English for five years. The objective of the visit is to learn about the American culture, how American families live, and practice English. I applied and our family was interviewed and we were selected to be a host. We’ve exchanged emails and photos. I requested a boy since I’ve got all boys and I can’t imagine a young French girl in the house with two of my boys going through puberty. That’s a NO NO!
Since one of our boys sleeps with us, we’re using his room as the guest room. We have a big house and actually 2 of the boys didn’t want to sleep in their rooms because they felt they were too far away from us. Just last year, I got my 13 year old to sleep upstairs but my 5 year old is still with us. I’m replacing the bedding (not sure a 15 year would appreciate an alphabet duvet) and I’m going to put some plants and other nice touches in the room. Got any ideas for me on that? You can’t see but there’s a dresser along the wall next to where I took the photo. I’d like to add some welcome touches there. A basket of stuff? But what? I don’t want chocolate being eaten upstairs! I have a no food upstairs rule.
Also, to get ready. I’m working hard to get my kids to flush the toilets (especially their turds), take their dirty
underwear clothes to their own rooms, and actually wear clothes while in the house. If I can accomplish those things, I’d be happy. That’s asking a lot here. There are strange and foul things happening in my house. I’m just used to it. A husband and all boys? Please…. nothing can offend me now. I’ve heard and seen EVERYTHING! The dog? Well, I can’t control his excessive and gross farting. It is what it is. He’s a member of the family and he’s getting old. (I shrug)
So, this is where I need all of you to come in! The objective is not to drive around and go to tourist sites but rather live, eat, shop, and socialize the way an American family typically would. We will do a couple of weekend day trips and the students will be going to the Grand Canyon. I need to hear your ideas, expectations and perceptions about visiting the US. If you were coming for the first time, what would you be excited to see and try if you were staying with a family? I don’t want to change the way we live as that defeats the whole purpose and why we were selected. I keep asking the family and they will say anything is fine and will be great.
So, for those of you living abroad your input would be really helpful! Here are some questions to think about but any feedback would be so appreciated! It will really help me make my little French gentleman’s visit the best possible experience it could be,
- What types of home cooked meals would you look most forward to having?
- What type of shopping or stores would you be interested to see?
- What are some customs you find interesting that Americans do?
- What types of meals would be interesting when dining out?
- What would you not want that you’ve heard Americans typically do or eat?
Remember, this is a 15 year old boy so unfortunately Sephora and a pedi is out of the question! We will do a day trip to Sedona and a Pink Jeep off-road tour through the red rocks (always fun)! I may take a drive to LA to Universal Studios and Hollywood on one weekend. Otherwise, we’ll be in Phoenix!