Dear host families, you don’t understand your role.
The role that, during the time the foreign exchange student would be in your house, you are suppose to take. I’m speaking from my experience –that, sadly, I know I share with other foreign students– because host families are there to be a bridge between the foreign student and the american society, providing tools that would help the student to make friend and new experiences, not a jail, not a prison. Host families try to protect us like if we were babies, they don’t trust us neither our decisions or our dreams. They believed that America is the best place of the world, and that we come here not to learn or have experiences, but because we are miserable in our countries and we need to become “Americans” to be happy. Worst, that we come here because we need a home to stay, a family. However, most of the students have to pay -and its a lot of money- to come to the United States. Our families, our real families trust us good enough to go to another country, with people that they never know before. They left us alone, and they knows that we want to be even more independent, become special. We have expectations, and in most of the cases, they never happen.
If our real families share something is that they believed in us, that they love us enough to let us go away from them for one year. They let us free. And then, we found out that our host families don’t trust us at all, they expected something from us that we never asked for. I hear too many times host families upset because students are ungrateful, because they have to spend money and time in the students and they take it as normal. Dear families, we paid to come here. We paid a lot of money, and we are expecting a host family aware of that. A host family that can understand what the program is. I’m not only expecting a home to live, I’m expecting free time to hang out with friends and become part of the community.
In my case –don’t take me wrong, I love my host family most of the time– they never let me hang out without my host sisters. Or even with them, we always have to be supervised. They make me do things that were unfair, they blamed me for everything wrong in their lives, even when they were the ones that made that mistakes. Worst than that, they make me feel bad when I ate the food at the house -because we “eat” too much-, when I asked to go out or just talking at all. Because, my friends, AMERICANS ARE ALL ABOUT DRAMA. They are fake. They don’t really want foreign exchange students, they just want to feel good with themselves because they “helped” someone.
The worst part of my experience was feeling oppress, like in a jail. Sometimes it is awesome, a lot of good things happen to me too and I understand that I could be happy, but also because I understand what I needed to be happy, I feel stressed because they didn’t allowed me to be happy.
I’m not an ungrateful student, I’m a student that expect to much from people that never understand how to trust me.