A first-year AYA host family from Iowa with four children opened their arms to Sam, an exchange student from China. Sam was an only child before his year in America where he joined a family of six! Host mom Becky told us why Sam was such a great addition to the family, and what they learned from their exchange experience.
Sam quickly went from being an only child in China to the oldest of five in our family. He instantly embraced his role as a big brother to four younger siblings, joining in family activities and sharing his culture from China. Throughout his year Sam has been open minded, outgoing and has made the most of his exchange experience! His approach to his academic year has been truly admirable!
Here’s some things they learned about each other …
He has an active approach to his exchange experience. He joined the golf team and cast of the high school production, Cinderella. It was wonderful to see that he felt comfortable to get involved and share his personality with us. At home, Sam offered cooking lessons to make Chinese dumplings for friends and family. The kids related to him and loved learning from their older host brother.
Sam enjoys being around everyone and interacting with his host siblings. During spring break our family had a stay-cation. We decided to show Sam a bit more of Iowa and toured the Science Center, went to the movies and dined out in town. We even did a 25 mile family bike ride out to a historical trestle bridge! All four kids loved spending time with Sam and it was amazing to see their bond grow stronger.
He’s always helpful and lends a hand. I can remember, one afternoon, the kids decided to paint birdhouses we had purchased, but my son gave his to the neighbor to paint instead. Later, when Jacob was admiring all the birdhouses, Sam overheard him wishing he had gotten to paint one. “No problem,” said Sam, “We’ll just build one!” Together, they built a three story birdhouse from scrap wood in our garage, and my son was able to paint a birdhouse after all. With Sam around, they were never bored!
We love Sam and feel grateful that we got to spend the year with him. I know my kids will miss their older host brother but we all look forward to staying in touch. No family is too big to add an addition like Sam.
Thanks, host mom, Becky for sharing your hosting experience with us. Interested in hosting a student or giving your children the opportunity to have a host brother or sister? Find out more about becoming an AYA host family, here!
Have you hosted before? Leave a comment or send us an email about your hosting experience.