Foreign exchange program looking for families to host students - WNEM TV 5

Foreign exchange program looking for families to host students

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A foreign exchange program headquartered in Mid-Michigan is looking for host families to help.

“Absolutely a wonderful experience. It definitely changed my life,” said Angela Hoskey, with Youth for Understanding.

Hoskey spent several months in Australia as an exchange student more than 20 years ago.

She lived, slept and ate alongside her host family. Many of whom she is still in contact with.

Now she is bringing the experience full circle by starting a host family herself.

“The student that we’re getting for August is from when I was an exchange student. One of my friends is sending her daughter here on exchange,” Hoskey said.

Hoskey is with Youth for Understanding. It’s a global network that facilitates intercultural exchange.

Hoskey works to bridge the gap between foreign students and their new schools within the Mid-Michigan area.

She said there has been a need for more host families to house students, like Adrian Buehler, once they come to the states.

Buehler is an exchange student from Germany.

“Yeah, it’s a lot different from Germany. So I have a little sister. She’s 11. And I have a host mom. And those two are just amazing and they help me have a great experience here,” Buehler said.

Some exchange students said the Youth for Understanding program also helps them in their future careers.

Samantha Kaczmarek is from the area and is traveling to Japan at the end of the month. She said she is looking forward to putting some of her foreign language skills to the test.

“I speak Japanese and I’m a certified Chinese 1A speaker. And YFU definitely helped me out,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hoskey is hoping more families will become inspired to open their hearts and homes to students like these in the coming months.

“It builds such awesome bonds and it’s just an awesome, awesome way to bridge that understanding between the two countries,” Hoskey said.

If you’re interested, you can sign up to be a host family here.

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