The Weiler family experience hosting a foreign exchange student
Four kids, two in high school and two in grade school; a farm with around 75 animals, not counting the dog and two cats; all the goings on of daily life with a couple of parents who work full time. If that’s not enough chaos, we have recently relocated from Alaska and are still settling in to our new house and surroundings.
So, when we were approached during conferences last fall at Estacada High School by a representative of International Cultural Exchange Services about hosting a student for a year, we said “we’ll think about it”. I think Dayna and I both knew there wasn’t a lot to think about. Within a couple of weeks we were matched with a student from Germany.
So here we are over halfway through the school year and we survived one more addition to the family. It has been like having another son for the year.
The experience has been very valuable for us and our children. I think especially for our son who is a junior in high school this year. I believe the two of them have formed a lifelong bond.
Language and cultural issues have been the things that have created a handful of misunderstandings, but nothing a simple conversation didn’t clear up.
A couple of weeks ago we were asked if we would host again next year. Dayna and I said, “We’ll think about it”. Yeah, yeah, I know, not much to think about.
So here we go again. The student we will host next year is from Spain. We are looking forward to another great year learning about another culture and getting to know our new loaner son from Spain.
One of the things I have learned that is very cool is you don’t have to have kids in high school or kids at all to be a host family. Dayna and I would love to share our experience with you if you have any questions.
ICES host dad, Oregon