The bonds between Academic Year in America (AYA) host siblings and exchange students are one of a kind. Just as the exchange experience has a major impact on the exchange student’s life, the hosting experience offers an array of benefits for American children.
These are 5 ways that your child could benefit from having an international big sister.
1. Adding elements of another person’s culture to their own
By hosting an exchange student, your son or daughter will add pieces of another country’s culture to their own. Through daily interactions with their international sister, they’ll learn many exciting things about a different culture. By the end of the hosting experience, your child will be more well-rounded and culturally aware thanks to their international big sister.
2. Having a family member across the globe
Because of the familial bonds exchange students form with their host families, it’s a sad day when they ultimately return home. However, the journey doesn’t end when they board their flight! After you part ways, your child will have an international sister on the other side of the world with whom they can continue building a relationship for years to come.
3. Gaining an inspiring role model
AYA exchange students are between the ages of 15 – 18 years old but are often incredibly mature and wise beyond their years. They are motivated to succeed, lead, and learn. For your child, their international sister will become an inspiring role model. Not only that, but they’ll also encourage them to celebrate cultural differences – an important lesson to learn from a young age in today’s global world.
4. Having someone to rely on
Additionally, their international big sister will become someone that they can rely on. During their time in the United States, our exchange students become true members of their host family. In this way, exchange students and their host siblings create bonds like real siblings would. They’ll become someone who your son or daughter can have fun with, count on, and confide in.
5. Making lifelong friendships
Most of all, a huge benefit of an international big sister is the lasting friendship that your child will form with their host sibling. As the years go on, the special memories they form together during the hosting experience will not be forgotten. These international, lasting bonds are truly one of a kind – and the friendships formed during the exchange year span oceans and cultures.
Do you think your son or daughter could benefit from an international big sister? Learn more about hosting an exchange student with AYA!