This week’s guest article features Summer Blackhurst. Summer is discussing the benefits of Cultural Exchange, and why is it a Perfect Way to Prepare Teens for College.
Benefits of Cultural Exchange
My friend manages a popular fast food restaurant in town and the teens she trains there come with all sorts of silly bad habits. Some of the reoccurring issues include talking back to their boss, texting instead of working, awkward breakup conversations in front of customers and the list goes on.
Kids are attached to technology more than ever. They are saturated with their iPhones, the Internet, and video games. But with these technological changes, their social skills, coping abilities, and personal ambitions suffer. One great resource for kids to bust out of the modern day technology funk that kids and teens get stuck in is for them to take a peek at someone’s life who thinks, lives and sometimes speaks differently than they do.
Teens are gaining the ability to understand something beyond the city they grew up in can be incredibly valuable. They see things through the eyes of someone with a different perspective. I spent time in Argentina in the middle of my college education. I left without a declared major, spent that time away for a year and a half and came back to announce a major. And finish college with a clearer perspective.
Of course, I’m just one of many who see the benefit of cultural exchange. Research also points to more success for college students who have experienced some cultural exchange. They also have more self-confidence and broader thinking which leads to a development of their opinions. These students acquire
Analytical problem-solving skills.
Awareness of group dynamics.
Personal sensitivity towards others to name a few.
Cultural Exchange – The Perfect Way to Prepare Teens for College
Seeing cultural exchange for what it is can help families start transitioning their children and teens to be more successful in college. A few ways parents can provide cultural exchange opportunities is to bring in an au pair to care for their children. They can send their kids on study abroad, travel extensively with their children, inviting exchange students to stay in their home. Going out of their ways to meet and greet different cultures in their community. Parents can do a better job at preparing them for their future. Cultural exchange is one answer that has proven to prepare children and teens for a great future.
About the Author
Summer Blackhurst is a parenting researcher and a writer for Go Au Pair and mother of an 18-month old girl, 3-year old boy and 5-year old boy. Summer has interviewed close to 200 Host families and Au Pairs about their childcare experiences.
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