This chapter examines the experiences of American high school students participating in a summer study and home stay program in China. Drawing on a corpus of qualitative interviews with high school participants and college-aged alumni, the authors examine how these students represent the extent to which their experience involved active engagement in communicative settings, including the negotiation of difference. The participants report having enjoyed many opportunities to become involved in routine family interactions while also encountering challenges to their common-sense understandings and values. The findings thus suggest that high school home stays may be quite different from those of the older students typically portrayed in the research literature on study abroad.
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