World Heritage Newsletter

October 2016

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Luciana Swenson in Vermont (in red plaid, upper back and center ) with all but one of her students (and the student Luciana is hosting, Kajal from India, lower center, Kajal's rep is Shirley Jacobs, VT)

Buddy Reps!

The New England Region has a great team of area representatives, I truly enjoy working with each of you!

Our ultimate goal is to place all of our students by June 30th. In order to do this, we are looking to add more representatives to our team; many hands make light work!

Please let me know if you have a friend, co-worker, family member, etc. who would make a great rep!

Activities with your student!

As a rep you must plan and conduct 3 activities throughout the school year (two for semester students). Two activities must be completed prior to the end of January. So I have always found it best to do one in the fall and one in December.

Grant students (YES/FLEX) - At least 3 activities must be cultural, one of the activities must include a trip to the State Capital. Reimbursement of up to $400 (total, for all 3 activities) is available and the reimbursement form is sent directly to Grant Programs Director - Mary Loving. I can provide the form and address upon request.

Enhanced student - At least 2 of the activities must be cultural. Reimbursement is available for those activities - $25 for the student/$25 for the rep, this can include parking, gas, entrance fees, food, etc.

Whether your student is a grant student, enhanced student or not, it's nice to try to think of something cultural to do with your students, these activities don't have to cost a lot of money. Going pumpkin picking or to see holiday lights is not a huge expense. Do activities that your students will remember as a cool thing they got to experience in the USA! Things that do not count as activities include-- going to see a movie, or bowling (these are things the student can do in their home country.)

Please contact me if you need help thinking of activities!

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Marie (France) Host mom, Csilla from Maryland, Lena (Germany) and Theresa (also from Germany, a previous host daughter returning for a visit) Pictured at Busch Gardens, VA. Rep: Nettie Keller, MD

How to help host families and students have a great year!

Considering how many host families and students we have, things run pretty smoothly most of the time. Effective communication is key when dealing with the host family/student dynamic. Small issues can turn into big issues if they're not addressed.

You can help and here's how:

The most important thing you can do as a rep is to listen. I know it may sound obvious, but you are the neutral party between your student and host family. If either side is having an issue, oftentimes all they are looking for is a sounding board and someone to listen to them. It is not your responsibility to solve their problems for them, but listening to both sides and giving them tools to solve the problems will be most beneficial for all parties involved.

Helpful tips:

• Always listen to both sides; we all know there is another side to a story; whether it is the students side, host families side, or the schools side

• Remain impartial

• Remember the conflict itself is the problem; not the people involved

• Understand that the problem may be culturally orientated (although this does not excuse the problem, it helps with understanding)

• Do your best to help; but don’t get in “over your head”

• Don’t hesitate to call me for help, advice, etc.

Please see pages 149-154 in your area rep manual for more helpful information

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The Verasamy Family in Vermont with host daughter Megan (France) (in front) Rep: Luciana Swenson

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Lots of our students having fun in the Corn Maze with their rep: Luciana Swenson, VT

Contact Info

Don't hesitate to contact me if you need help with anything. Please send in pics of activities you do with your students, I'd love to put them in the newsletter.