Michael Kuras: Welcome to America, Clara
This school year my family is hosting our first exchange student, who will be living with us while going to an American high school. Clara, who came over from Germany, is here to learn about our culture and the American way of life.
Though we had been emailing Clara and her family since the beginning of year, we only started preparing three months before our student arrived. We painted the bedroom and set it up so she would feel welcomed and safe in her new surroundings, but we also left room for her to decorate it.
We talked to our 5-year-old son Gabriel about Clara and showed him pictures throughout the summer. Through those discussions, along with email updates from her, we were able to prepare our son for the arrival. He was excited and asked every day when she would be flying in.
Since before my classes began at USC Aiken, we have been constantly learning about Clara and helping her to fit in at her new school, as well as exchanging customs and cultural ideas. In the short time that she has been here, we have already seen her English get better and she has begun to understand our family dynamics as well. Though it has been only a couple of weeks, she fits right in with our family and it feels that she has been with us for much longer.
We are looking forward to seeing where this year will take us, watching both our son and Clara grow and learn.