(Anna from the Netherlands Studying in Texas)
Aspect Foundation’s inbox is flooded with notes from students expressing their gratitude for the experience they have had on student exchange. On Thursdays, we post one of these notes, sharing the “warm fuzzies” with all of you!
Today’s Thank You Thursday features Anna from Netherlands, who is studying in Texas with the Love family. Read her letter to her host family below!
Dear Host Family,
I’m glad to have gotten the opportunity to show my gratefulness to you in this Thank You Thursday. Today, I want to put you guys in the spotlight, because you deserve it!
Let’s start where it all began. Thank you for choosing me to be a member of your family. It’s crazy how we went from not knowing each other at all to me being a part of your family. I remember the day I peeked through the glass door at the airport and saw you standing with a ‘Welcome to Texas Anna’ sign, that now hangs above my bed. I remember how we went out for dinner and how I didn’t know how to eat my taco (but luckily Kristen has taught me and now I’ve mastered it!) It literally seems like yesterday that I came to the United States and started my life here in Texas.
A lot of awesome things have happened since August and I just want to thank you so much for showing me around and introducing me to the American culture. Thank you for taking the time and energy to get to know me and do activities together. I have made so many memories here that will stay with me forever. I love how we celebrated the typical traditions together, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m glad I got to try the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and that we went to an American candlelight service on Christmas night. But, besides enjoying those big holidays, I also find my joy and gratefulness in the smallest things. An example is you coming home after a long day of work, after which I get to joke around and talk way too much. Or you supporting me in one of my soccer games. Those little things mean a lot to me. It’s with only joy that I look back on all those months living with the Loves. I love it when we play games or go to the movies together. A few of my favorite memories are the fun we had on Christmas night when we played a card game and the city trips we’ve made on a break or holiday. I like how I got to see NASA in Houston and how we’ve spent two days in San Antonio, which is now one of my favorite cities!
Rich, I absolutely love joking with you and ‘giving you a hard time’ about everything. I like how you teach me new things and I like listening to all your stories. I like how supportive you are with my singing, and I’m glad that I can call you my #1 fan for that!
Sara, I’m so thankful for you just being you! I really appreciate it when I can talk to you about things that I’m worried about and that you always know how to calm me down. You always know how to comfort me when I have my sad moments and I’m eternally grateful for that. I love how we are trying to figure out the poker game together and going on walks with the dog. It’s those small things that make me the happiest.
Kristen and Danah – One of my wishes before I came here, was to have a big sister, now I have two! I loved all the activities we have done so far: from going to the Texas State Fair, to visiting Houston where we relived our childhood and went to Build-A-Bear. Danah, even though I probably annoy you sometimes, I love hanging out with you. From not doing anything at all and just chilling in the bathroom, to jamming out to music, to going to see Beauty and the Beast for the third time. Thank you so much for listening and understanding me when I have to rant in the car rides home about something stupid. Thank you for introducing me to music I thought I would never listen to, like Hamilton. Thank you for showing me new parts of this city I didn’t know about. I could go on and on, but I prefer to keep this letter on the short side. But, just know that I’m glad that you are my host sister. I hope that in those upcoming months we will still hang out a lot and that we will still make each other laugh with all the stupid and clumsy stuff we do. And Kristen, even though you are on the other side of the ocean right now, I am so glad I got to know you in those few months. You are one of the kindest people I’ve gotten to know here and you can be really proud of yourself for going on this new adventure and experiencing new things. I loved to listen to your stories about college and I really liked when you came home and we got to hang out. I hope that we will still be in touch when the three of us are grannies, and laugh about all the things we did when we were younger.
The fact that there are only 2 months left to live here scares me and I’m dreading the day when I have to say goodbye. But don’t worry, I will be back to visit and annoy you again as soon as possible! I can’t thank you enough for all the opportunities you have given me throughout these past months and I hope we will make a lot more memories in the upcoming months. Thank you for making me feel loved at home. I’m glad I get to call you my second family.
Interested in sharing YOUR corner of the world with an international exchange student? Learn more about becoming a host family at: http://aspectfoundation.org/host-families.