Why do I want to host a foreign exchange student?
When I was 15, I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Austria with my high school choir group. This experience changed my life.
Magical, different world
In Europe I encountered a magical, different world that generated an interest in foreign countries and people, leading to getting two Political Science degrees, one in Comparative Politics and one in International Relations. Since that time I have had a few opportunities to travel abroad, and each time that magical feeling returned. Whether in the U.S. or abroad, meeting people from other countries and learning about their culture continues to fascinate me. The idea of hosting a foreign student in my home will be a wonderful opportunity to really get to know someone from another country.
Share the american experience
I have two teenage boys, one of whom will be going to college next year. I enjoy their company and the company of their friends, which is helpful since I am a college English professor. I feel like I can relate to my students well, having teens myself. I always wanted our home to be the “center” for the kids to hang out, having only two children and wishing I had had one or two more. I also like the idea of being able to give a foreign student the chance to live in another country and learn what a typical American family is like in the Midwest. If one of my boys wanted to live abroad, I hope that his host parents would feel the same.
I am looking forward to hosting a student in my home. It will be an exciting adventure. I know from my research that there may be some difficulties concerning homesickness, grades, or just general teenage mood swings. However, while I know it won’t be a constant party, I also believe that the rewards of the relationships formed will outweigh the struggles, and I can’t wait to meet my new “son” this summer!
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