Come and read all about it! Academic Year in America (AYA) is in the local news. Anna, an AYA Local Coordinator from Ohio, shared with us a heart felt article her local newspaper wrote featuring her AYA student, Sophie from Germany.
Bellaire-Puritas Community post shares:
Anna Langley practices hospitality to the world. For 14 years she and her husband have opened their home to exchange students from all over the globe and have built bridges of cultural understanding. Her students have come from Germany, Thailand, Brazil, Hong Kong, and China.
The Langleys chose to move to West Park so they could live close to John Marshall High School, which has been so welcoming to the exchange students and gives the students a “real American high school experience.”
“You get to learn all about them and their culture,” she said. “There is so much courage these kids have to come over here”.
Langley is the regional coordinator for Academic Year in America (AYA) and not every school district opens its doors the same way Cleveland Metropolitan School District and John Marshall High school have. She and her husband decided to move from the rental in Lakewood they had been living in and purchase a house in West Park because it was close to John Marshall, which has been great to work with. They now live on W. 150th St. near R.G. Jones School.
“I have a beautiful little bring house. I love the area- I love the neighbors,” she said.
Langley said many students get very involved in the school’s multi-cultural club, coordinated by John Marshall’s Media Center Specialist, Mike McCann, who has taken students to cultural events and even on educational trips to Washington D.C.
“My students tell me the best part of John Marshall is the teachers,” she said. “They do everything they can to make these students feel like they are part of the community”.
Sophie agreed that John Marshall is full of teachers who care. “When you have a problem, you can go to them and they will do everything to help you,” she said.
This year the Langleys, whose own kids are grown and out of the house hosted Maggie from China and Sophie from Germany. Both were in the U.S. with a J-1 Education visa.
Sophie said she would like more families to participate in the program. “It’s not only the exchange students that get the experience, it’s the family also and it’s wonderful,” she said.
Langley says there is a real need for host families and she wishes other families could experience how rewarding it has been for her own family. She says the exchange students get to experience America, learn a new culture, advance their English skills, and make friends across cultures.
Host families are able to choose a carefully screened student and they must provide their student, for either five or 10 months, with two meals a day and a place to sleep and study. Host families can claim a charitable tax deduction for hosting a student. AYA is sponsored by the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, founded in 1967 by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. To learn more, call Anna Langley at 216.376.9933 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Anna for sharing this article with us! AYA is proud to link up with open high schools across America to give students the opportunity to learn a new culture and build friendships across boarders. Are you interested in bringing culture to your local community or school? Learn more about becoming a host family, here. Like us on Facebook or follow us Twitter for more stories like these.