Celebrating the End of the School Year: Helping Your International Student Prepare for College!

As the school year comes to a close, graduation marks a significant milestone for students worldwide. For international students living with host families, this time is especially momentous, signaling not only the culmination of their high school journey but also the start of an exciting new chapter in college. As a host parent, your support and guidance are crucial in helping your international student navigate this transition smoothly. Here’s a comprehensive guide to assist you in celebrating their achievements and preparing them for the summer leading into their freshman year of college.  

**These are not requirements of you as a host, but if you are looking for ways to go above and beyond in care here are some insightful ideas!**


Celebrating Graduation: A Milestone Achievement 

 1. Embrace the Moment:

Encourage your international student to fully participate in graduation festivities. Attend the ceremony together, celebrate with photos, and perhaps organize a small party to honor their achievements. These moments are precious and provide a sense of closure and accomplishment. 

2. Reflect on Their Journey:

Spend some time with your student reflecting on their academic and personal growth. Discuss their experiences, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the friendships they’ve made. This reflection can be a meaningful way to acknowledge their hard work and resilience. 

 3. Share Their Success:

Help your student share their graduation experience with family and friends back home. Assist with organizing video calls, sharing photos, or even recording the graduation ceremony. This connection can be incredibly rewarding and affirming for both your student and their family. 

Preparing for College: The Summer Before Freshman Year 

 1. Research Their College:

Encourage your student to start familiarizing themselves with their future college. Together, you can explore the college’s website to learn about campus facilities, student organizations, and academic resources. Help them join online forums or social media groups to connect with fellow incoming freshmen and current students. 

2. Plan the Move:

Assist your student in planning their move to college. Help them create a checklist of essential items and explore shipping options for their belongings. Offer guidance on travel arrangements and ensure they have everything they need for a smooth transition. 

3. Encourage Orientation Participation:

Most colleges offer orientation programs for incoming students. Emphasize the importance of attending these programs to learn about college life, meet new friends, and understand academic expectations. If virtual orientations are available, make sure your student participates. 

 4. Academic Preparation:

Help your student brush up on their academic skills over the summer. Review subjects they might find challenging and suggest online courses or tutoring if necessary. Familiarize them with the academic calendar, course registration process, and available academic resources. 

5. Financial Planning:

Guide your student through understanding college tuition fees, payment deadlines, and financial aid options. Assist them in opening a local bank account, if needed, and help them plan a budget for college expenses, including textbooks, housing, and personal needs. 

6. Foster Independence:

College life requires independence. Encourage your student to practice essential life skills such as cooking, doing laundry, managing finances, and time management. These skills will be invaluable as they navigate college life on their own. 

7. Maintain Family Connections: 

While fostering independence, remind your student to stay connected with their family. Regular communication can provide emotional support and help them feel connected to their roots. 

The transition from high school to college is an exciting journey, especially for international students. As a host parent, your support and guidance are vital in helping them celebrate their graduation and prepare for the summer ahead. Embrace this new chapter with confidence, curiosity, and enthusiasm alongside your student. Congratulations on their graduation, and best of luck in their college adventure! 

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