In 2008, I got an email talking about this amazing opportunity to host a high school exchange student. I called up my husband and work and asked what he thought. He said to get more information. In less than a week we became "parents" of a 16 year old! Our first student Marvin, arrived literally a week after we said yes. We quickly learned what we needed to get him into school, the soccer team, and more! It was an amazing experience. We learned about Germany, while giving him a taste of the American culture. We loved it so much we hosted our second student, Gerrit, the following year!!!
Our sons had a great time playing soccer for the local high school, participating in choir, going to prom, and making lifelong friends. We played games, took trips, and more. Our students really did become part of our family.
Many have reservations about letting a stranger into their home. For us, it was a little awkward at first. Here we were barely 10 years older than our first "son." However, that soon didn't matter. When Marvin left, our house felt empty. A part of a family truly was gone.
Hosting a student really is pretty easy. They need their own bed and food! Each student brings what they need along with money to help cover experiences such as book fees, new clothes, phone, entertainment, etc. As a host family, you open your home for them to learn about the American culture and our family life. You don't have to already have kids, you can be a single parent, etc. You just have to open your hearts and your home!
There are already many great students available for the 2012 - 2013 school year. Host a semester student or all school year. International Experience is a great program to be a part of. Contact me for information if you think you'd like to host this year!