Today we are shining the spotlight on the Klatt family in Wisconsin and their exchange student, Francesco from Italy. Read on to get a glimpse of the special memories that their student and family have made together!
“This is our second time hosting an exchange student and we didn’t hesitate to go with Aspect again due in part to our local coordinator, Dixie.
Hosting Francesco this year from Italy has been very easy. He has been very polite and respectful from day one. He is always willing to help out around the house, including helping with our new flooring project this past fall.
He also likes to cook, especially desserts and enjoys trying new recipes. With the long winter and our many, many snow days, baking was a good project for when we were stuck inside. It has been fun sampling all the goodies and comparing techniques. Francesco also took a food class at school that he enjoyed.
It’s always interesting to learn about how their schools differ from ours and what they think of our small school and town. For Francesco, it was a big difference coming from a city to living on our farm. He took it all in stride and embraced the differences.
Besides learning about Italy in general my husband has enjoyed learning about the different traditions during holidays. We also enjoyed the specialty bread and treats that Francesco’s family sent at Christmas and Easter. Our whole extended family enjoyed these bread and talking with him during the holidays.
It has been a joy having Francesco here this year with his great sense of humor and his easy going way. We were fortunate to visit France this past summer and our “French” son, Ludwig. We hope to be able to visit Francesco in Italy someday as well. I know Francesco already plans to visit here again.
When we were considering hosting again, my husband said it could be worse and I countered that it could be better. Our experiences have both been good, not saying one was better than the other but they were different. Each person is an individual and brings different things to the table so to speak.”
Each host family is coupled with one of our compassionate local coordinators who help the family choose a student and provide support throughout the school year. Missy comments on the close relationship her coordinator have with her family:
“Dixie has had many years of experience and is always there when you need her. Fortunately, we have had two great students and haven’t “needed” Dixie for a lot. We do like that Dixie plans monthly activities for the students (and families). I have enjoyed getting to know some of the other students from different countries this way.”
Do you love working with teens and families? Want to help make an exchange student’s year one they’ll always remember? Feel free to inquire more about our wonderful International Coordinator position!
Below are some words from Francesco about his experience:
“My exchange experience was an amazing opportunity to live in a different country with a different culture compared to my country, Italy. Throughout the year, I’ve been attending a pretty small school in the North of Wisconsin. At first, I had to get used to this new situation: a few students in each class, my house in the middle of the countryside, no public transportation, new people, etc… But not after long, I was able to appreciate the new aspects of this opportunity and experience new things. I also had the opportunity to do many things with my host family, like going to the movie theater, cooking several dishes, going to some trips, having family meals at Christmas and Easter, and much other stuff. I also had so much fun doing different experiences with Aspect Foundation and other exchange students, such as going to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and helping at the community table.
Now that just a few days are missing to my departure, I am realizing how much I’m going to miss my friends, my host family, and my school. I am really thankful to all of them and to Aspect foundation.”
Missy’s message to all prospective host families:
“Talking with some other people that have hosted students with other organizations, it sounds as some of them don’t have the same support with their local coordinators or their coordinators are not very local at all. Some also seem very limited in the students that they can choose from. I really like the profiles and all the information that Aspect provides for prospective students.
For anyone that is considering hosting a student next year. Check out the profiles; you can even narrow down the search to certain activities or interests that the student has to help you make a better match for your family. I would highly suggest reading through several profiles and then if you have more questions or concerns, talk to your local coordinator because they can usually find out a little more info on the students.
It all boils down to teenagers are teenagers no matter what country they come from. They may have different traditions and family values but they are still kids trying to figure it all out. If you are open and willing to learn new things, try hosting. Aspect has got your back.”
Ready to welcome a new culture and years of friendship with a student eager to experience the American way of life? Apply today to become one of our loving host families!