I can’t put in words how thankful I am that my family from Germany made this experience possible, and my American family made it unforgettable. – Marlene, Germany
EXCHANGE is perhaps the perfect topic for Valentine’s Day, isn’t it?
“Exchange” means giving of yourself and accepting someone else. Choosing to listen as well as to speak, to engage in the messiness of life. To walk a two-way street.
To me, that sounds a lot like LOVE personified!
And our sweet students, who feel this support and this LOVE more acutely than you may know, have written it down. They’ve encapsulated WHY this exchange is so meaningful. What it has done for them. Who they’ve BECOME as a result.
Love changes things. It changes people. And it makes a WORLD of difference! Enjoy these excerpts from a few of our students who’s lives have been changed as a result:
I have new people in my life that I can call family, and they are my host family! And I want to say I love them, and I am grateful from the earth to heaven for them! America made me a better man. I grew up, I got smarter, I know that everybody is equal in this world. So I want to say thank you all for being there for me and making my year amazing. – Danilo, Montenegro
I stayed in North Carolina for my year abroad. In winter, we had heavy snow fall and my school was closed for 10 days. Instead of sleeping in my own bed, I had a 9 night sleepover with my host sister, who is my age. It is just awesome to see how close we got through all the time we spent with each other, and knowing that we will be friends for life. I love her with all my heart and I will never forget her. – Patricia, Germany
I have an incredible relationship to my family, and my host sister wants to visit me next year. I’m so excited! This year was really the time of my life and I’ll never forget it. I’m so grateful that I got this amazing opportunity. – Celine, Germany
I came to the US mainly for English, but I found so much when I came that English became the least of my focuses. Of course I improved my English more than I could have wished for, but I will never forget Christmas with my host family. It was just a magic occasion in which I really felt I had found a new family that loved me and comforted me, even when I also had a tough time thinking about my biological family. It was as if I had been a part of their family from the very beginning. And that is something I will cherish for my whole life and forevermore. – Fernando, Spain
My favorite memory is every single thing that happened in my exchange year, since the very first day I arrived. I had to came far away from my home country and my parents, so every day was a journey. I learned every day. And in everything, my host family heped me. Every experience that I had made me stronger. This is a wonderful experience that I cannot find anywhere. – Siwaporn, Thailand