International Student Exchange Launches Feedback Survey

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Visitors Asked to Help the Nonprofit Improve its Services for Families and Students

In an effort to gain insight from it's foreign student body, ISE recently launched a mid-semester evaluation survey in which students could offer feedback on the kinds of experiences they were having and how the services offered by the organization could be improved. The survey was an extension of an initiative suggested by the Department of State to get more information and input from students about how often they are in contact with their local representatives, what kinds of challenges they have face during the program, and whether or not they feel supported during their stay in the US.

The response has been overwhelming, to say the least. With nearly with over 2,500 students enrolled in the J-1 program, approximately 90% of the recipients returned the survey forms to ISE headquarters in Babylon, New York. Reminiscent of the iconic scene in Miracle on 34th Street (bags upon bags of envelopes being poured on the judge's desk) ISE employees have begun the task of opening, sorting, reading, and addressing the content of the letters. They are happy to report that students have submitted a nearly unanimous favorable opinion of the program, the host families, the representatives, and the experiences they have had. The positive feedback shows that despite being spread across the country and in a vast array of different cities, students overall feel a strong connection to the program and their local communities.

Among the most positive responses are those related to a exchange student's relationship with his or her family. Responses such as, "They are like family to me," "We have a lot of fun," and "They are great. Whenever I have a problem I always talk with my host family and they helped me a lot," seem to suggest that students have little trouble integrating into their families and maintaining that relationship throughout the program.

The survey also shows that exchange students are active and involved in community and school activities, suggesting that students feel comfortable becoming part of their locality and making an effort to integrate into social events. The most popular activities listed and enjoyed by students are football, cheerleading, and community service organizations, with some students raving about being able to join school sports when they did not expect to be allowed because they were from another country.

In order to show appreciation for those students who participated, ISE entered each student who returned a completed survey into a raffle for a brand new iPad Mini. The winner was chosen at random before the letters were opened.

The winner of the contest was a Mexican student named Juan, who lives in ISE's Crossroads region. Congratulations, Juan, and thanks to Crossroads Region for your help in bringing this project home.

International Student Exchange, founded in 1982, is a non-profit organization that brings together people from all different cultures and creeds. Located in Babylon, NY, ISE is helping to educate tomorrow’s leaders one student at a time.

If you would like more information about his topic, please contact Stephen Sobierajski at 1-800-766-4540, or at stephen(at)iseusa(dot)com

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