So yesterday my children and I said goodbye to our awesome exchange students. We participated in Nacel’s summer program again this year and had two students, one from France and one from Spain, spend the month of July with us. This isn’t the first time we have hosted. We have been participating in the school year program and summer program since fall 2007. My kids and I love doing this, and we really miss the boys from this summer already. My son and daughter are already asking when we are going to do it again. It is a rewarding experience.
We have had our ups and downs, but our coordinator has always been most helpful. It has given my family the opportunity to expand our family as well as our horizons by having a teenager come and stay with us. We have learned about their countries and shared about ours. We have taken them into our hearts and home and treated them as one of our own. For me, I have wanted to be a host parent long before we had our first opportunity. I specialized in TESOL in college, and in some ways it gives me a chance to use my education. I also wanted my children to learn about other cultures. What better way than having someone from another culture visit us when we have not been able to travel as much!
I really like Nacel because the coordinator for us is wonderful. We have had many good experiences with them. They offer school year programs as well as a summer exchange. If you have ever thought of hosting but are not sure about making a school year commitment, I highly suggest the summer program! It is only about a month long. The students are really sweet. It is a lot of fun.
This year was the first time I have ever hosted two. It is also the first time in a while that we have had boys. It was a big switch in figuring out what to do with teenage boys when I was so used to teenage girls. It was kind of funny watching them interact with my son like they were brothers. It was wonderful having them around and having them be a part of our family.
So if you are looking for a unique way to learn more about another country and expand your family, I highly recommend looking into hosting! For more information about becoming a host parent, please visit www.nacelopendoor.org.