I have done this for each of our three exchange students. For the last page of their albums that I create for them I write a letter and put it on the last page. The reason for this is that it is often hard to decide what to put on the last single page in the album as it needs to summarize the album and conclude it, while doing it only on a 12×12 page. I created this page the day before he left and sent it with him on the plane.
The whole page is designed to hold an envelope for a personal letter than I wrote to him, sharing how much we enjoyed hosting him, and how much we were going to miss him. I wanted to put it in an envelope because it was a personal letter to him that I didn’t want other viewers to read.
I post all of my blogs to Pinterest as well, and this is what is interesting – my most popular pin is of this type of page from our first exchange student – view it here –> Final Page on Pinterest. What this tells me is that host families really fall in love with their students, and are looking for ways to share that care.
See the first two letters here:
Note: While this is the last page from this exchange student’s scrapbook collection. Henry and I took a trip to Boston at the end of his time with us, and I put his pages of this trip into his scrapbook album. However I created a duplicate album for myself of this trip, and I will start posting the pages from that album in a few days.
Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student
I just want to put a little plug here for serving as a host family for a Foreign Exchange student. We had a wonderful time doing it – this was our third year – and we have had a great experience every time. My son loved having a brother and learning about new places, and it makes our home a little more active🙂
Now that I have finished the series from our Summer 2015 Europe trip I need to go back a little bit in time and show you the spreads from the 2014-2015 year. It was a fairly uneventful year for us since I was saving up for our trip to Europe, and therefore there are not a lot of pages for me to show you from this time frame. But lets start with football!
This was my son’s sophomore year playing football and he was the kicker for the varsity team. At the end of the season he earned his letter jacket which was cool and you will see a spread about that later. The reason I mention that is that you noticed the big “HILL” at the lefthand side of this spread. We ordered his name for the back of his jacket and it cam back with a white background instead of a dark blue one. I didn’t want to waste these letters, so I used them on this first spread of the football season. It makes the page a little bit bulky, but it looks really cool! Also on the spread are the professional pictures taken on media day.
In this spread highlights pictures taken at the various games during the season. I lost track of which pictures where from which games and so I picked the best ones from the collection to put in this spread.
This spread showcases newspaper articles, tickets, and other ephemera from the the football season. The helmet at the top of the right hand page is a picture that I took of his number on the fence and cut to shape. The “Oak Hill” was actually cut from his practice jersey which was a mess at the end of the season and I used modge podge to affix it to cardboard with I then cut and put on this page. At the bottom of the page are two rubber Oak Hill Pride bracelets that we wore all season in support of the team.
This spread shares the Fall sports awards program, a picture from the awards ceremony, and a color copy of my son’s letter. I used strips of cardboard to create a holder for the awards program so that it can be taken out and read. The strips are held in place by two brads at either end.
This final spread, is one that I am fairly proud of, not because it looks terribly cool, but because of the ephemera that I was able to save on this page. The left hand page has all of the stickers off of my sons helmet. I used an X-Acto knife to carefully remove all of the stickers and then I put them on this copper/gold metallic paper. It is important to use a metallic paper so that the sticker will stick without picking up the paper threads from a normal piece of cardstock.
The right hand side is actually part of my son’s practice jersey that I cut to make this pocket to hold the programs from all of the games. I had to slice about 1/4 inch off of each side of the 12×12 background paper so that I could wrap the shirt around the edges. I used normal scotch tape to affix it to the back of the cardboard and some brads to help make it a little stronger. It slide into the plastic protector sheet very well, and allows the viewer to take out the programs to look at them.
The letter contained personal remarks and sentiments for him, and things that would encourage him once he was back at home. I put it in an envelope because it is a private letter for him from us, that I did not want other viewers to read. Because of the way that it is placed on the page, and then within the plastic sheet protector, it is hard to get to to keep curious eyes from taking the time to pry.
I did the same thing for our previous exchange student –> Final Page. This page, for some reason, is one of the most popular and re-pinned Pinterest pins that I have – See Pin. My guess is that people like the concept of putting a personal letter in a scrapbook, and are less interested in the design of the page.