Time really flies doesn't it? It's hard to believe that it is already time to say goodbye to the many international students leaving UWRF this spring! Some are graduating after completing their undergraduate or graduate degrees and others are returning home after short exchange programs. 32 students will be departing this month! While it's difficult to see our friends leave, we're happy for them as they begin the next chapter in their lives.
The next couple of weeks are an important time to connect with your students - especially those leaving UWRF for good. Be prepared for the tears to fall. It's possible that you will never see one another again so saying goodbye can be difficult. As the last days draw near you may find yourself sad or even angry over the thought of your student leaving. They have become part of your family - these are normal feelings. You have given a lot of yourself to your student and I'm certain they have given a lot of themselves to you.
Give loads of hugs. Make sure you have their home address, maybe even write them before they leave so when they return home there is a letter from you waiting. We encourage you to stay in touch with your student after they leave. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to stay connected to your student including Skype, Facebook, email and many others. And who knows, maybe someday you'll have the opportunity to visit your student in their home country. It's happened before!
It's also time to start thinking about continuing your commitment as a host family next academic year. If your student is leaving this spring, I hope you consider hosting another student! If you would like to continue with the Host Family Program please send me an email and I will add you to our fall list of families. Do you have a friend, neighbor or family member who would be a great host family? Encourage them to apply! We anticipate a record number of new international students in the fall so we will be on the lookout for new families to participate in the program! The Host Family Program application can be found on our website. If you're currently hosting a student who will return in the fall, keep up the great work!
Thank you again for participating in the Host Family Program! Your commitment has made the program possible. You have played an important role in helping your host student adjust to life in the US and River Falls. I hope that you know just how important you are to them and to me! I look forward to continuing to work with your for many years to come!
Have a wonderful summer!
Check out the Host Family Handbook for more information about being a Host Family and to view a list of activities you can do with your student!