My daughter has been talking about becoming a foreign exchange student for as long as I can remember. She had done some extensive research prior to leaving for her summer to Greece.
Upon her return, we contacted the Rotary club to get information needed since applications go through them. The lady finally returned my call after leaving her a message and we spoke for about 30 minutes all of which was basic information about me and my daughter. By the end of the call, she said that she would call us that evening and that my daughter needed to come up with at least five questions to ask about this foreign exchange.
That evening she called and was on the phone with us for about an hour. She had mentioned that we were to be on speaker phone and I thought that meant she would have questions for both me and my daughter, but she did not. She spoke of two trips that would be taken in October and November to little towns about four hours away from here. They were what she called “get to know you two” trips. One would be a four day trip and the other would be a weekend trip. It seemed strange to me. After all, if they wanted to get to know us, they would spend the day with us here in the city where there is so much to do. She then mentioned in not so many words that the costs of those trips would be covered by me and there would be her and four other officers that would also be attending the trips.
I then asked her that I needed more information on the cost of the program and how that cost would be distributed. All she mentioned was that it would be a little over $7,000 and that she would send an email with the breakdown of that cost. It was at the time when she told my daughter to send her an email once we were off the phone to remind her. I already knew approximately how much the cost would be as I had read that on line but for her not to be able to explain the breakdown at that time made no sense. Furthermore, she also mentioned that if my daughter were not selected for the program some of the money would not be refunded. It was at that point when a strange feeling came over me. Who would even consider dishing out money for a program not knowing if their child would even be chosen? Who does she think she is dealing with?
Prior to hanging up, she told my daughter to think about it and let her know if she is still interested and if so, she is to contact the lady via email. She also mentioned that once the documentation is sent to not complete the application because there is a process that she will need to go through and that we would know by January or February if she is chosen for the program.
Once off the phone, my daughter and I spoke about the conversation and I asked her what she thought. She was more concerned about how she handled herself on the phone and was seeking my praise. I told her she did well but I had a feeling that did not matter to this woman at all. I went on to explain to her that I didn’t feel right in all I heard and I would wait for the documents that she was to remind her to send. Then we could revisit this in another conversation.
If the truth be known, I felt like I was being bent over. I will wait for the documentation but there is no way I am paying any money up front until I know that my daughter is selected.
To be continued…