View Full Version : have you hosted an exchange student? effect to your budget?
07-24-2011, 10:17 AM
We are going to have the opportunity to host an exchange student -- I'm looking for any information on REALLY how much this effected your budget if you had an exchange student. Please be honest -- I'm trying to plan ahead. The student would be here from germany for four weeks.
07-24-2011, 10:38 AM
I had a friend who had two exchanged students but she had them for a semester each. She did say that she spent more over the time they were here but she always made sure they had experiences here. She took them to Disney, Universal and such, as well as skiing in Colorado.
I believe she was able to claim something on her tax return but I am not sure about that.
She said it was a great experience and her only regret was that the boy from Germany kept making her late for work because he couldn't get up in the morning and she had to drive him to school. That is the only complaint I ever heard from here.
She still keeps in touch with them and has plans to visit them and their family next summer.
I think 4 weeks would be doable.
07-24-2011, 10:40 AM
We used to do that when I was younger. I was just a lkid, so I have no idea about the affect on your budget.... but, I do know we did alot of sightseeing stuff, day trips... showing them around. They were here just a few weeks, so all we could really do was daytrips. Groceries went up, not only the fact that you are feeding one more...I think we cooked a little more.. so the kid could experience real like traditional american food. Plus there was the "extra" food we bought. We had one from SPain who came a more than once... when she was here, she LOVED peanut butter.... all of the PB (w/chocolate) things we have here are very different from what she was used to. Maybe this was my parents choice, but they bought and paid for lots of different food items for her to try etc..... I know they come with money, but I am not sure what they are supposed to use it on. For us, I know we paid for stuff for her, when we were out doing "family" things.... It was a great experience for our family! One of our students has been back on her own several time... and brought some family with her.... My parents have visited her is Spain 2 times, most recently.. last year when she got married!
Enjoy it and have a great time!
07-24-2011, 10:53 AM
I have hosted for half a school year twice. The first time was planned and it did not go well at all. The student was rude and inconsiderate and refused to listen to me at all because I was a "woman" and he didn't have to listen to anything I said.
The second time, it was awesome ! It was totally unplanned, the student had a family to stay with up until two days before he was to leave his country and they backed out. The person in charge called us to see if we could help and we couldn't say no because we knew how much it takes to get over here and this would be his only chance.
The kid was great, smart, funny, and very respectful of everything. We had a new dog, I gave birth weeks later and it was a crazy time. he stayed with us until just before Christmas while they were trying to find someplace in the school district the whole time. We would have kept him here but there was a lot with a new baby and such. We said yes and then he was here in 2 days. I still talk to him often on Facebook but we cannot visit since his country will not let him come back and we don't know how friendly they would be with us there. I hope his sister wants to do an exchange since she is my daughters age and that would be a lot of fun.
It did cost us a bit more since teen boys eat a lot but school lunch should be free for them. Maybe we'll do it again soon now that my daughter is in high school this year. I am hoping to let her do it during the summer between sophomore and junior year.
07-24-2011, 03:47 PM
I was on the phone with my mother when I saw this. We had two exchange students stay for a year but this was over 20 years ago. My mother said the food cost a bit more the year we had a boy vs the year we had a girl but didn't notice a big increase in any other bill. It was probably local sight seeing that added costs. If my parents paid for me they paid for the exchange student and if I had to pay they paid themselves for the most part (I was in high school).
My mother laughed and said one thing they did was a trip to Disney with the first exchange student. It was part of a bus tour group. The girl's parents paid her portion and I paid mine from my part time job. This included things like park tickets to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Seaworld, and Cypress Gardens, hotel and transportation. If we ate with my parents they paid but when we were off on our own and grabbed snacks we paid. My mother said that trip was pretty expensive since it made us go back again a few times. The boy wasn't interested in Disney so we did more local trips to places he wanted to see like Boston. We also ended up with an extra exchange student near the end of the year because her family kicked her out but it was too close to the end of the year to do a lot with her. She was fine the whole time she stayed with us so we never understood the problem. It was a different exchange company but she was friends with us so my parents agreed as long as they took her back to the airport.
07-30-2011, 06:48 PM
We have hosted students from Mexico twice for about 2 weeks each time. The first time we had 2 girls which was a new experience because I have all boys! They were delightful and we were all crying when they left. We still keep in touch through email and DS18 went on the exchange trip to Mexico and got to see them again.
The second time was the boy that DS18 stayed with in Mexico and was not a good experience. He was only here to party and was mad at me when I made him come home from a "sleepover" at a girl's house whose parents were out of town. We didn't mind when he left......
As far as money goes the school we exchange with is a private school with incredibly wealthy families (2 maids, 2 cooks, a chauffeur, etc) and they had plenty of their own money to spend. At the mall one day (they loved to shop) one girl spent $600! So food was a bit extra, but I just planned meals I could stretch a bit (spaghetti & meatballs, etc). A lot of the sightseeing was arranged through our school, but we did end up doing some things on our own too.
The girls came in March and it snowed one night - they stayed on our back porch for hours because they had never seen snow before! The next day we built snowmen, went sledding, etc - it really made us appreciate the snow too!
It is an amazing experience to host and I'm happy we did it. You can find budget activities and meals to keep prices reasonable. Good luck!
07-31-2011, 09:39 PM
When I was in High School (20 yrs ago) we had an exchange student from Australia stay with us for a school year. We both enjoyed comparing the differences between American and Australian culture. And it was a lot of fun taking her sight seeing. She was extremely excited about the availability of denim here, she bought something denim for everyone in her family.
I don't know if it's changed, but while the students were required to bring a certain amount of cash the host family took care of the living expenses. The student paid for their clothing, etc. My parents probably paid for more than they should have. She was one of seven children and saved the entire required amount on her own.
08-01-2011, 07:48 AM
Depends, we had one for a few weeks, it affected us minimally, his school provided for fun experiences, we just had to feed him breakfast and dinner.
On the other hand DD has a very wealthy classmate who had an exchange student this year and they spent more than 25 grand. Utterly out of control if you ask me.
It's really up to you as to how it affects your budget. I just got a call last night to take a student on an emergency basis, the home he'll be staying in for the year won't be ready for 3 weeks. Unfortunately however we'll be away for a few days this week and DS is getting his wisdom teeth out next week. Not the best situation to bring an exchange student in, I was sad to say we couldn't do it....
08-01-2011, 02:08 PM
We just hosted a 15 y.o. boy for 3 weeks from Germany:goodvibes
I would probably say budget $500 more for your month for expenses on food, excursions/entertainment, etc. However, if you it is true exchange and you have a child going to live with their family in Germany too, it really all comes out in the wash.
We did go on a week vacation with ours since he was here for spring break but we opted to go to the beach where we already had a place to stay which helped a lot and left more $ to use on doing fun things!
P.S. In Germany, kids cannot drive until 18 so our student REALLY liked going go-kart riding.
08-01-2011, 03:35 PM
We've hosted several time in the past. All were for a semester at a time. I didn't notice any increase in the utility bills. As for food, it wasn't a big deal to stretch the meals abit further. If we went out, she paid for her own at least about 75% of the time. The girls paid for their own clothes, tuition, evenings out,etc. It was such a rewarding experience for all of us. We continue to spend time with two out of the three girls. Go for it, you won't regret it. :)
08-01-2011, 03:51 PM
It did cost us a bit more since teen boys eat a lot but school lunch should be free for them. .
Why would school lunch be free for exchange students?
08-01-2011, 05:57 PM
we had one for about that length- it was like adding the expense of one more kid to the budget- like if it cost us XXX to get McDonalds, it cost us XXX plus another 6.00....if you have kids, it's pretty easy to estimate
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