We hosted our first exchange student this year. It is awesome, and I’m excited to see his contribution to our FRC team. My spouse mentioned how cool it would be to host someone next year from another FRC team. Not only would it be a cultural experience, it would be a robotics exchange!
I was wondering if anyone is both involved in FIRST and a student exchange program?
Yep! We have an exchange student from Turkey and he’s on my FRC team!
Interestingly we had a host family reach out to us this week…and we will now have a member from Kyrgyzstan. Glad to show them something that while not uniquely American is certainly an impressive part of our culture.
I know 2054 had a student last year and 876 has had several HIGHLY impactful exchange students over the years.
My wife places students for Greenheart, one of the placement organizations so we have had at least one exchange student living with us constantly for the last 7 years. We’ve also happened to have at least one exchange student per year involved with our team for the last 5 seasons. This year by crazy odds we have 5 exchange students on our team of 17 students, all from different countries. All those that we’ve had join our team have been new to robotics but they’ve all found some passions in it. You can specifically search for students with an interest in robotics when looking to host I’ve never happened to come across any in the batches I’ve seen that specify FIRST in their materials. You always have to keep in mind that exchange students often want to try new things here, so just because they say they are interested in robotics isn’t a guarantee they will want to do it here. Some want to focus more on American sports etc, but that said, every kid we’ve hosted that indicated interest joined my team. Happy to answer any questions about exchange stuff.
My exchange student was an FLL alumni, so he came in pre-FIRSTified
We had 3 when I was on 234 and 1 when I was on 225, they were all great. It was a bummer they could only participate for a year. For all of them, the exchange program wasn’t connected to the robotics program, they just knew someone who knew of or was on the team and were recruited through those people.
We had a team president go to Denmark but not do FRC that year, but the year before and after. And we had a student from Japan come to some meetings this fall but ultimately I think it didn’t work out. Although her host dad is coming next week with a Skills group as the shop teacher in the next school over, so maybe I’ll inquire again now that build season is here.