Today, we shine the spotlight on a family that incorporates cultural exchange into their daily lives through a myriad of ways! Andrea, one of our repeat host moms from North Carolina give us some insight into what initially caught her family’s attention about the world of hosting and what has allowed them to continue opening their home year after year. This year, they are hosting two girls, Leticia from Brazil and Angela from Colombia in a double placement.
Hosting seven exchange students to date, Andrea writes:
“I always wanted to host an exchange student. I liked the possibility of learning about another culture and sharing my culture with an international teenager. We had such a great experience hosting the first student that we decided to do it again. And Again. And Again. Each time we hosted it was a unique and rewarding experience. This year we are hosting our sixth and seventh students, Leticia from Brazil and Angela from Colombia in a double placement.
When you host an exchange student, you sign up to house, feed and take care of a teenager from another country for a year. But it is much, much more than that. These students become part of your family for life. You love them. You worry about them. You cheer for them as they move on to new stages of their lives. When an important family event happens, you want them to be part of it. We have attended our students’ high school graduations and have become friends with their natural families.
When my daughter recently got married, three of our former exchange students flew to North Carolina to participate in her wedding. Romeo from Italy (2017-2018), Alina from Germany (2015-2016), and Saara from Finland (2013-2014) all came to participate in their host sister’s wedding in North Carolina.
Our exchange students had never met each other before the wedding weekend. However, they had heard many stores about each other and were eager to meet. When they finally met, they instantly became family. They bonded sharing stories of their experiences of long road trips, family game nights, and our holiday traditions. It was such a joy to see them all together reuniting with their host siblings.
I love these kids and look forward to many more family celebrations with all of them. “
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!