Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student Can Open Many New Doorways

OK~ I was contacted by the EF Foundation for Foreign Study, which is a non profit organization dedicated to encouraging cultural awareness and mutual respect through student exchange.  Due to the fact that I've always been intrigued by the thought of hosting an exchange student, I thought it would be fun to blog about this wonderful opportunity for families.

This particular organization will work with you and help your world come alive in a way you never knew was possible.  A family that we have known for several years kindly opened their home to an exchange student in 2006 and are so thankful that they did.

The Baker family "fell" into an opportunity to host an exchange student.  Their oldest daughter, who was a Freshman in high school, came home and asked her parents if they would consider hosting a girl from Germany.  This particular girl was in another home and just not fitting in.  Several family meetings later, a few days later, and the night before Thanksgiving, the Baker family picked up Alina to bring her "home."

                                                            Photo submitted by Lea Baker

Alina fit right in!  She became one of the Baker Girls and learning about each other's culture is something that they still appreciate today.  Since the exchange, Alina has came back to the USA to visit three times, with another visit planned in 2011.  The Baker's oldest daughter was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Germany this past summer and visit Alina.  Hosting an exchange student was something they had "thought" of doing; as they had met an exchange student from Oslo, Norway, in 1984. They had never pursued the experience any further, until the opportunity landed in their lap!

So, if you have ever considered, or even thought of hosting an exchange student, check out the EF Foundation for Foreign Study, as they will work with you and help you and your families dreams come true!  When you host an exchange student, you will have the opportunity for first hand experience of what life is like in another country.  And you will also have the privilege of sharing your life in the good old USA!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I was not compensated in any way to post this.  The opinions here are mine and the experience is that of an Iowa family.


  1. my brother does that, good for u xxx

  2. I had an exchange student from Germany just this Fall through EF as well. Unfortunately this young lady was falsely represented by her self, her family and the foundation and had to be removed from by home and sent back to Germany. When these students are not properly screened for the program and slip through the cracks, the host family will be the one's that must deal with the unpleasant side effect of a student that is emotionally unstable. I recommend anybody taking a child into their home to do a very complete and careful check on these students. Some come with a lot of emotional baggage and should NEVER be involved in these wonderful programs.

  3. You are lucky she came back often. We gave a year of our love, monthly sightseeing excursions, ballet, dinners, and 2 vacations with our foreign student from China. Then he went home and never called or wrote to us again. It's as if we don't exist in his eyes. Why did he do that?!?

  4. I think this one is a very good post of yours. :)


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