So... a couple of our friends hosted exchange students last year & really enjoyed the experience. I always thought that exchange student programs were for parents with high school aged children but it turns out that host families can range from single adults to empty nesters to families with kids of any age.
After my friend said goodbye to her Chinese daughter this June, she decided to become a volunteer coordinator for Youth For Understanding. That's when we began receiving emails from her filled with interesting exchange student profiles from all over the world.
As Steve & I get older, we find ourselves asking this question more often - "Will this enrich our lives & will it enrich the lives of others?" And after thinking a while about what it would look like adding a 15 year old daughter to our life for 10 months, we decided to dive in and say YES to this new & exciting adventure.
You'd think I was having a baby the way my nesting instincts have kicked in... but I had so much fun putting together her room (filled with catching fireflies finds of course)!
Even Tuesday is preparing by practicing taking naps on Tessa's cozy chair.
There's no doubt our weekends will be filled with many fun outings & everything we normally do already seems more exciting because we'll be sharing it with someone that has never experienced it before.
We'll introduce Tessa to all of you soon. Of course she's arriving the weekend that Dream Cruise descends on Detroit so it will be interesting to try to explain this phenomenon that takes place 1 mile from our home:-)
If you've ever thought about becoming a host family, YFU has been amazing & easy to work with & if you live in Oakland County... they're still trying to place 8 students before the school year starts.
Some of the kids still awaiting placement include:
Tennis and piano are passions of 15 year old Phillip from Germany --who was actually born in the USA ! Phillip’s parents returned to Germany when he was seven - and he has always wanted to come 'back home' to learn more about the land of his birth. In Germany , he lives in a small, picturesque village with his parents and a rabbit. While he achieves high marks in all his subjects, he is very good at chemistry, English and French. But he does more than study. He’d like to continue playing tennis which he often does with three of his friends. His next favorite activity is playing the piano. Luckily he enjoys this because his parents enjoy listening to him play. Other activities that he likes are meeting with friends and playing board games, listening to music, or simply sitting and talking. He likes to be around people who laugh and have a good sense of humor. His traits of being reliable, sympathetic, cooperative and sociable will make him a good ambassador as an exchange student.
Haruna, 16, from Japan will make your home more beautiful with her flower arranging talents; but she will also fill it with her smiling and infectious happiness. A Girl Scout for six years, this young aspiring occupational therapist enjoys reading novels, watching and participating in sports including soccer and track and field. Haruna loves biology. The youngest of four children, Haruna has two older brothers and an older sister. She also has a lovely cat named Cocoa . Her teachers appreciate her sense of responsibility; strong will and determination that helped her accomplish her goals when she ran for class president. Has travel experience is to France and Canada . She hopes to feed her desire to learn more about other cultures by becoming part of your family. Would you help Haruna realize her dreams?
Just call him Daniel! Hyun-Nyoung, 16, from Korea enthuses about the big lake near his home where his family likes to go biking or hiking--when they're not visiting the mountains, or the family farm. His favorite sport, soccer, makes him feel "challenged, energetic, powerful, and confident," and he loves opportunities to play with friends. Daniel's admiration for a special teacher has made him dream to become a chemist or a professor. This was also fueled by his principal who encouraged Daniel to be a delegate at a science competition. Daniel shows a good deal of admiration for his parents and younger sister; his responsibilities at home include cleaning, vacuuming and dishes, but his most important job is to study (even if it takes away from his sports). This friendly, easy-going and warm-hearted guy is looking forward to learning American cooking and would like to share Korean recipes with you! Willing to attend religious services as often as you do!
"I am crazy about sport," says WeiQi, 16, from China . Daily you'll find him involved with basketball, ping pong, billiards. He loves Shaquille O'Neal because they both share a good sense of humor! In fact, his teacher says you'll "notice from the first second WeiQi's humor and humility." Music is another passion as he enjoys beatbox, guitar, singing, dance, etc. He is described as a friendly and warm young man who comes from a large family (six members!) which travels throughout China together and enjoys climbing mountains. At home, he helps with the family dog and also likes to help his mother cook. During the week he attends boarding school, so he has experience being away from home. He wants to come to the US to learn to be more independent, self-confident and to make good American friends. He hopes to "bring you a lot of joy."
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