Strategies for Addressing End-of-Year Emotions
This time of year can bring a wide range of emotions for both students and families. As the end of the program approaches, your student (and you as well!) may feel anything ranging from gratitude to sorrow to worry to anything in between. There is no one "correct" way to process the end of a program, and all feelings are legitimate.
- Here are some helpful strategies for ensuring that the remainder of your hosting journey is meaningful, even with lots of feelings at play:
- Make a plan with your student about what the rest of the year is going to look like; what you want to do together, things you'd like to share and talk about, etc.
- Decide with your student about how you are going to remain in touch after their return home.
- Talk to your student about what you've accomplished together and what you have learned from one another. These AFS questionnaires - when revisited at this late stage in the year- can really help students and families take stock of how much you have grown to learn about one another:
- If you feel like there has been a shift in your student's demeanor or in your family dynamic that raises concern, talk to your liaison. For example, is your student withdrawing a little more, or talking with friends and family back home more, or showing other signs of possible struggle with preparing to say goodbye?
- If your student’s program departure date is much later than the end of their school year, planning additional engagement activities can be especially helpful.
- In addition to spending time with friends, students can volunteer, attend local events, and engage in their host communities in other ways.
- Think about what you might be available to do during the day with your student, and what local opportunities you can enjoy together.
- If you need help, talk to your liaison.