Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Foreign Exchange Experience

The story I submitted to our local paper to tell our story and advertise for more host families in our area.

G T is the first Turkish graduate from H High School. A participant in the Youth Exchange and Study program, G has spent the last 10 months living in M, IN and attending H High School. The Youth Exchange and Study program is administered by the U.S. State Department. The program is vital in expanding communication between the people of the United States and the partner countries. By living with host families and attending typical American high schools, students come to understand American values and the qualities of leadership while helping educating Americans about their countries and cultures. G has been a wonderful representative from Turkey and has learned much about the United States.

As a student at H High School, G has participated in volleyball, German club and softball. She has taken classes in government, economics, U.S. History, chemistry, physics and biology. Through her daily interactions she has grown in her ability to communicate effectively in English and has a more complete understanding of what it means to live in the United States. "It was hard to understand people in H at first. Now that I know them better, I like them better. I’m sad that I need to go back home soon," said G.

G’s host family, the Js, has enjoyed hosting a foreign exchange student. "I didn't realize when we decided to host G how much we would get from the experience. I expected it to be about giving our home, our time and our family. Now we have extended family in Istanbul, Turkey. I never knew how many benefits there would be in sharing our home and our lives like this," stated R J.

The opportunity to share the United States with a student like G is available to anyone. The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), a non-profit organization, is seeking host families in southern Indiana. Students will be arriving in the United States prior to the start of school to spend the 2010-2011 academic year. CIEE exchange students hail from all over the globe and are eager to learn about the United States. Students live with host families, attend high school, and become true members of their new families and communities. The USA High School program provides an opportunity for host families to form lifelong relationships and unforgettable memories.

Students participating in the exchange are between 15 – 18 years of age, have studied English for a minimum of three years, have their own medical insurance & spending money, and have undergone a thorough personal screening and interview process. Many of these students arrive in the United States with dreams of immersing themselves in the American culture through living with a host family and participating in clubs, sports, arts, music and other activities. They return to their native land with improved English skills, a sense of independence and self-confidence, more maturity, and a better global understanding. Most importantly, they will have built American relationships that will last forever. Hosting a CIEE student is the perfect opportunity for communities to meet an ‘ambassador’ of an overseas country, and to develop skills as an ‘ambassador’ of the U.S.

To become a host family or to request more information on this rewarding experience, please contact:

1 comment:

  1. What a great thing to do! We hosted two exchange students and, like you, found that it was an incredible learning experience for everyone involved.