exchange student, global education, crunchy mom, kids, language, culture, crunchy, education, food, cuisine, lifestyle, crunchy moms, family

My family (myself, hubby, and toddler) is hosting our third exchange student through Youth for Understanding.  This year, a teenager named Gregory from Bern, Switzerland is living with us until next summer (yes, almost an entire year)!  We really enjoy hosting and see benefits all the time.  Here are some reasons your family should consider hosting an exchange student.

  1. Your child gets a firsthand global education.  Some people wait to host until their kids are older. But this experience can be so beneficial to younger kids, too.  They learn early that it’s OK for people to be “different,” and they learn to love language and culture through sharing new words, new activities, and new ways of doing things with their exchange brother or sister.
  2. You get to try new foods.  If you’re lucky, your student will enjoy cooking some cultural cuisine for you.  Our student this year does not, but he did bring us some fantastic Swiss chocolate and cheese. It’s also fun to offer new foods to your student.  It’s well known that Europeans hate root beer when they first try it, and it’s fun to see their reaction to something that most Americans love.
  3. You get to share your unique family lifestyle.  Our family, as you probably guessed, is a bit on the green, peace-loving, tree-hugging side. This isn’t the typical idea many foreigners have of Americans, and it’s refreshing to know that our student will carry this unique description of Americans home with him.
  4. You get a new family member for life.  It’s amazing how quickly you can grow attached to someone.  We stay in close touch with our Korean and German daughters, and our German daughter is planning her second return-trip to visit us in the near future.  On the flip side, we know we always have a place to stay when we travel!
  5. You are an instant ambassador of peace.  This is what it’s all about, isn’t it?