Why do families choose to host an exchange student? Host dad Ben had his own exchange experience, which led him to appreciate the importance of cultural exchange and giving back to the global community.
My wife and I have decided to host a foreign exchange student from Brazil for a semester. We had talked before about wanting to host an exchange student, but always thought it would be when our kids were older, when we had more money and more time. At the time, we were very busy taking care of our two young children and we were not 100% sure if we were “ready” to host an exchange student in our home. But in the end we decided to go for it!
I know how important the exchange student experience can be. Sixteen years ago, when I was a junior in high school, I met a young man from Germany who was an exchange student at my school. Since then we have become lifelong friends. I have visited him in Europe and he has come back and stayed with us in the U.S. as an adult.
Opportunity to Travel
During my travels in Europe and my time living in Japan teaching English, so many people opened their homes to me. I am sorry to say that I cannot even remember all of the names of the people who showed me such wonderful hospitality, but all of them in their own small way were serving as ambassadors for their home countries and cultures. I would wanted to do the same and give back to the international community by hosting an exchange student. Through this cultural experience I think my family and I became a bit more involved in the world.
A Learning Experience
My favorite learning experiences in life have come from travelling, living abroad and meeting people from other countries and cultures. These are the experiences from my life that I would most strongly encourage my own children to experience.
A Way to Give Back to the World
And lastly, I can’t think of anything more important, or more meaningful, than helping a young person achieve the dream of living and studying in the U.S. I have seen the power of this experience in my own life and I am proud to open up my home, family and community to help make it possible for someone else.
Thank you Ben for sharing why you chose to host! To find out more about hosting and view student profiles, click here. Have you hosted before? Why did you choose to host? Leave a comment, send us an email or connect with us on Twitter.