In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our host families what they LOVE about hosting an exchange student with AYA!
Check out these heartwarming responses from host families across the country:
Host Mom Kate on Hosting an Exchange Student in Illinois:
This year our family is hosting a student from China.
With a family of 4 boys, we were nervous to add one more. However, we all agree that hosting Young has been one of our best decisions. It isn’t feasible to take our whole family to China, but we’ve been able to experience Chinese culture right in our house. We’ve tried lots of different foods, learned different phrases, and listened to a lot of Chinese music.
The biggest reward, though, is the relationship my kids have with Young. Our youngest son (age 4) introduces Young as his “biggest brother” and every family portrait our 6 year old has made includes his “Chinese brother.” Our 11-year-old twins spend lots of time playing video games with Young. Even our parents have bonded with Young during visits. Young is a part of our family and we truly love him.
Hosting Young through AYA has been an amazing experience that we are eternally grateful for.
Host Dad Clint on Hosting Natalie from Germany:
Our family has loved hosting Natalie from Germany. The AYA exchange program allow us to provide an opportunity for someone from another country to experience the United States. Natalie brings so much to our family; it is a great showing our kids what life is like in a different part of the world. We especially enjoyed learning about her family’s Christmas traditions. Further, our Local Coordinator and other host families plan a number of events which we enjoy attending. We cannot recommend this experience enough!
Host Mom and Local Coordinator, Joanna, in Pennsylvania:
We are currently hosting an exchange student from Germany. Our large family of seven all enjoy hosting for a variety of reasons.
- Bristol (Age 7) – “I love having an exchange student because she ALWAYS is willing to play with me. She even plays Barbies.”
- Abby (Age 13) – “Our exchange student brought our family the best ever chocolate from Germany. I love it!”
- Austin (Age 16) – “Our exchange student helps me with my German homework!”
- Jessica (Age 18) – “I am excited to host because our student allows me to cut and style her hair.”
- McKenzie (Age 21) – “I have learned a lot about the world and I have gained an appreciation for other cultures.”
- Joanna (Mom – Age Very Old)- “I enjoy hosting because I have learned about cooking in different countries and our student has shared a lot of recipes. She even burned a few dinners, just like me.”
- Jason (Dad – Age Even Older) – “I enjoy hosting because I like to take our student all over the city and attend sporting events together.”