The first step towards every successful exchange is to have approximately the same number of participating students on both sides. And even if the numbers seem to fit, one has to consider the gender of the student as well. Often students have to share a room when they visit their partner and obviously that is only possible, if the children are not of the opposite sex.
After going back and forth, after some discussions and a little advertising we did it. We had 19 fitting German and Indian students, which were happily willing to host each other. Now it was time to introduce them to each other.
Therefore, everybody wrote a profile, a “short letter of introduction” to tell the new friend about one’s live, family, housing or diet needs. In fact, the students should put every single piece of information in that profile which makes it easier to get to know each other. One year ago we already wrote an article about that profiles, which is quite interesting to read.
After sending all the profiles to the coordinating teachers it is their task to find the suitable partner. Who loves dogs? Who has serious allergies? Who is more an athlete or more a couch potato? The teachers really do their very best to find the best partner to make the whole exchange a success.
And that is exactly the situation we are in now: The matching has been done. And the teachers on both sides agreed on the list of partners. Now it’s on the students to get in touch with each other. The first WhatsApp, a phone call, an email? What to write, what to tell?
Our intercultural adventure has started! We are waiting for the first contact!