After months of anticipation and excitement, it’s finally time for your student to arrive! To make the transition as smooth as possible, we’ve prepared some helpful advice:
Welcoming your student
We encourage you to have at least one member of your family at the airport to greet your student. We encourage you to make it a family event and to bring colourful signs, balloons or even small gifts to welcome your student.
Your welcome sign should have your son/daughter’s FULL name. (yes, there may be more than one Juan)
½ sheet of poster board is a common size. Bright colours stand out.
It’s important to keep in mind that flight details can change, especially during peak travel times. A staff member from NSISP will be able to confirm all flight and travel information for you.
Do you have a new phone number? Make sure you provide your correct mobile number to your Homestay Coordinator, in case they need to reach you on arrival day. They may need to reach you with last-minute information. If you have questions about a flight, or if you hear from your son/daughter that they missed a flight, please contact your Homestay Coordinator with the new details.
Before you head to the airport, check the airline or Halifax Stanfield website to ensure the flight is still on schedule.
Check-in with the NSISP Airport Greeter staff (wearing red NSISP vests) and give them your name and the name of your student (include their full name, not their common ‘English’ name). After you meet your student, please return to the Greeter to let them know the student has arrived. If you need help at any time while at the airport, please contact the NSISP Airport Greeter staff; they will be able to assist. There is often a representative from our Regional Centre for Education available to assist as well.
A small snack and bottle of water may be comforting for the drive home. Depending on how far they have travelled, and how far you have to go, your son/daughter may also appreciate a small pillow/blanket for the drive as well.
Once you arrive home
Once your student arrives at your home, excitement is very high and many students will be eager to take in as much as they possibly can. Show your student around your home including where their room is and introduce them to any family members who may not have been at the airport, including furry ones!
Some students may be jet-lagged while others may not be. Likewise, some students may be hungry while others may not want to eat for a day or so. The combination of being excited and adjusting to a new time zone can impact students in different ways. Above all, remember to be patient with your student as they adjust.
Try to put yourself in your student’s shoes and anticipate what they may be wondering when they wake up in an unfamiliar place the next morning. The more help students get with practical matters the more at ease they’ll feel. Don’t be afraid to explain simple things: in a new culture, even small things are new and exciting!
How do you turn on the shower, and what is a shower curtain for? Avoid water all over the bathroom and show them how things work.
Does the toilet paper go in the toilet? (some countries do NOT allow the paper to be flushed, so don’t learn that the hard way). You may want to remove the garbage can from the bathroom for a bit of time until habits are in place. Remind them what is appropriate with feminine hygiene products.
Pets? Your International son/daughter may have expected the pet, but may not be used to pets indoors. Explain your pet’s routine: where they sleep, eat if they must be on a leash to go outside, etc.
Food? Show them where some snacks and water, etc. are, in case their jetlag has them up late/early.
WIFI password? (This was likely one of the first things they asked for!) Make sure they have contacted their natural parents, too.
Emergency Services? Write your civic address down and show your student where it is. Show them all exits for the house, should there be an emergency. Explain 911. Provide them with a written copy of all of your contact info and advise them to keep a copy with them, especially in the first few weeks.
Ask your student to provide you with all of their contact information:
NOTE: All of the above may need to be repeated over the next few days!