1) The local Student Xchange Company's officers through their personal assurances and published statements assured the parents in many ways. Refer to http://www.student-xchange.org/q_a_high_school_program.html
2) Due to some declining quality of some of the people at the front line of the Student Exchange Program, placements of the students into in appropriate family have been causing problems to the students, some, had to go home, some had to be treated for emotional and physical impairs due to those, stubborn, bullying and prejudiced host parents, sometimes, with the negligent and unethical area representatives.
3) Perhaps limited to the Student Exchange Organization's own capabilities, students awre typically placed into inferior schools in relatively remote small towns, and were being looked after by unqualified area representatives which are stubbornly protected by their ruthless regional managers while the directors in New York simply turned their blind eyes with one excuse, "According to the rules and systemI cannot talk to you. (even if your child under the program is facing dead)"
4) There is a new name for these Student Exchange Programs now, it is called the "Phony Scholarship" program.
Except for extremely few of the top students, the parents must shoulder nearly all the burden of the expenses.
5) Many of the schools where the exchange students are placed into are too small to offer any good, broad, or modern curricula worthy of such a country as the U.S. The officers of the Student Organization made their excuses of placing the students to those inferior schools, that this is supposed to be a "cultural exchange" program. Well when they say this they meant the cultural exchange with the host family and the few hundred inhabiatants of the small towns where the students are traditonally sent. If you expect the "cultural exchange" activities in any broader sense, you will be branded, "expecting too much."
6) Limitation of freedom of the students. Mr. Phattrathep of the Student Exchange in Bangkok replied to me no less than 3 times in one phone call that, there is no rule of the Student Exchange against student's ownership of a mobile phone in the U.S.
However, any time when the student feel dissatisfied with the host family and/or the school, the host family, the area representative and the regional manager would teamed up to remove the cell phone from the students. In the case mentioned in Bangkok Post, they would also restrict the student's receiving or making of the telephone call (in the student's time of stress, this is extremely stressful and inhumane)
6) All in all, the Student Exchange organization's work has suffered tremendously due to some bad apples down the lines. Of course, I would not brand the entire program as a whole. But in many cases of less fortunate students:
a) The acquired the feeling of coming to American and being treated as the beggars seeking free alms from those host families the Student Management Group (SMG) or the Student Exchange Corporation.
b) When misfortune happened, the first thing those bad apples could think of is to shut up the student by means of verbal bullying and physical limitation of their freedom to the degree worse than prisoners.
I realize tht the Postbag must present a wide variety of messages from many people coveing many subject areas, thus, is inappropriate for extended discussion.
So here I am.
Do not go to Arkansas as long as the regional manager called, Scates Trella is there, and reject Maynard Arkansas if the area representative called Melinda Hassell has not yet been fired or put in jail.
The information of the complete case involving an unfortunate Thai student suffering in the hands of a psychologically abnormal host mom and a very shameful area representative can be read at.
Concerned citizen of Maynard Arkansas
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