2020 left us with little to no exchange activities. Some of the new Local Exchange Officers (LEOs) and members haven‘t had the chance to host incomings at their locals. With the new exchange season approaching, here are some (hopefully) useful tips in hosting incomings!
INCOMINGS ARE NOT STEREOTYPES OF THEIR COUNTRIES
Many of us have never communicated with an international student on a personal level before. To prepare for becoming a good contact person, it is understandable if we‘d look up on the internet about how people from certain countries are. But don‘t forget that each incoming are individual with different personalities!
BASIC KNOWLEDGE ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES MIGHT BE VERY USEFUL
Initiating a conversation is and has never been my virtue, let alone with someone from a different home country. However, asking some questions about their culture and background is a great way to begin a conversation. Just be mindful not to get too political or too insensitive.
BUT WHAT IF…?
Should you cross the line and somehow there‘s a cultural misunderstanding, don‘t panic! It‘s normal to learn each others’ culture, even through honest mistake. It is one of the many beauties of exchange programs. You just have to sincerely apologize and know your place the next time you come across the subject.
For most of our incomings, this exchange experience might be their first and only impression of Indonesia. We could easily forget our duties as LEOs or contact persons amidst the excitement from hosting activities. Just remember that you are representing not only yourself and local communities, but also your university and country.
Making sure your incomings attend their departments, fill out the students’ handbooks, academic qualities, and other requirements can be overwhelming. Even so, don’t forget to have fun, especially during social programs where you get the chance to show around your local culture.