Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: East Central Minnesota
Hi, I've been lurking for awhile, but felt I needed to register so I could respond to this... we have hosted two exchange students from Germany. Wonderful girls, still facebook with them both.
WickedNag, the best thing to do is talk to his exchange advisor maybe without him present. Every program has different rules, but it isn't hard to get approved for placement of an exchange student. It would be nice if they all got "perfect normal" families, but that isn't the real world, and most of them know that coming over. Some of them do come thinking that everyone in the US is "rich", so the first time I had to say we couldn't afford something, it really shocked our girls.
It is also very common for exchange students to change host families. Sometimes more than once.
If your entire family is on board with him moving in, go for it. Otherwise, maybe he can spend time with both families if the lines of communication can stay open.
Talking to someone in German may just make him more homesick, and increase the chances of him failing placement. That is why they are discouraged from calling home too early or to often.
If his English is good enough that he can convey his thoughts and concerns to you, then you are the ear that he needs. Treat him like you would one of your own, and you will do fine.