YFU Handbooks - Page 35

Welcome to the USA The First Few Days Students will probably arrive very tired. They may have had emotional good-byes at home, a long plane flight, and perhaps several busy days of orientation immediately prior to departure. ••The Family. During the first few days, the host family may wish to orient the student to its own rules and procedures that make living together possible. These are the things needed for the student to fit in. This includes such things as meal schedules: Do all family members eat together at a certain time? Does everyone get his or her own breakfast and clean up after themselves? What food items are for snacking? Where do family members put dirty laundry? How to handle washing and ironing clothes, how to use the telephone and other household operating procedures should be discussed. The host family should explain anything the student might assume. Students’ assumptions are based on the lifestyle they led before and may have been quite different from the family’s lifestyle. For example, some students may not be accustomed to carrying door keys and locking doors when leaving because their homes were never left empty. ••The Neighborhood/Community. The student may wish to see the surroundings, be able to get to the post office, the community college, the bank, and know how to use public transportation, especially if she will be taking the bus to the college. Broad participation by faculty, staff, US students, and community leaders in these welcome events is strongly encouraged. Other practical matters will also be covered during the week of arrival activities. Students will be instructed, for example, on course registration procedures. Required and optional placement examinations will also be arranged. Initial Adjustments: Physical and Emotional Minor physical upsets sometimes occur because of the big changes in the student’s life. It is not uncommon for students to experience stomach troubles, irregularity, or missed menstrual periods within the first few weeks of their stay. These come from a combination of many factors such as change in diet, time difference, anxiety, and excitement. When the student begins to feel more comfortable and develops a routine, the symptoms will probably disappear. In the first few days and weeks, a relaxed atmosphere is important. The Adjustment Cycle There is a fairly predictable cycle of adjustment for students. The cycle is predictable, normal, and healthy, but not everyone experiences all of the stages or in any set order. Students may wish to buy stamps, change money, and open a checking account right away. They may also wish to shop. The temptation to buy many things because there is so much to buy is frequently a problem for students. They usually find the first months the most difficult on their budgets. ••The Community College. During the first week after students arrive, Campus Coordinators will conduct a series of arrival activities specifically designed to introduce YFU students to campus services and facilities as well as community institutions, services, businesses, schools, and the cultural environment. Stage 1: Isn’t that interesting! This is when the newly arrived student is excited about everything and sees things as novel and interesting. Reactions are of pleasure and excitement. The student tends to be the center of attention. Stage 2: The thrill is gone.... Routine begins to set in, the student becomes accustomed to the environment, CCP HANDBOOK - 35