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Updated on June 7, 2011

There is something about traveling and experiencing this fascinating world of ours that opens eyes to a whole new dimension of oneself! A dimension of growth, a dimension of culture and a dimension of 'seeing is believing.' You are never too old!!! This opportunity will undoubtedly keep you young at heart.

Have you ever been in an airport waiting for your flight to board and maybe overheard the couple next to you say something like 'Glaubst du, sie wird uns erkennen?' This is German for 'do you think they will recognize us?' Or perhaps you have had the opportunity privately or as part of a group to travel overseas. Possibly your neighbors took a international trip and time after time had you over for dinner to show different angles of different views from pictures of the same trip. At least the dessert tray was stimulating! Next time you are dining at your favorite Italian restaurant and see 'lingua di vitello' has been added, so you go ahead and order it because you love veal. When it comes it's not the veal with linguini you were craving, but calf tongue. Although a delicacy, not quite something that would calm your palate. If any of this is familiar, welcome along for this journey. If this is new to you and you think it's time to stimulate your senses without having to reach for your passport, I have a few fun concepts for you to consider.

Become a Host Family For A Foreign Exchange Student OR Become An Academic Coordinator.


Host an exchange student and the world comes to you! Hosting an international student is a wonderful opportunity to share your culture with a student from another country, as well as to experience international culture without leaving the comfort of home. Explore new customs, food, and perspectives by hosting an exchange student. The student comes with their spending money and is fully insured. Distances between countries and cultures are ever shrinking. Making international friends and contacts, and becoming participating members of our global society is more important than ever. Hosting an international student creates friendships, hospitality and understanding on an international level in your home. You don't need to have many children or a large family to seize this exciting opportunity. I know of someone single with no children who hosted a young woman from China. The lifetime chance was very gratifying on both ends.

In 2003 I became affiliated with an exchange organization as an Academic Coordinator. It is so important to have the right match and once need is identified, everything else falls into place. Coming from a dual-cultured background, I found this opportunity an enhancement while affording others the ability to stimulate their environment. I learned so much during the process. I learned the school requirements, I learned how to overcome any language barriers and I learned how to achieve successful placements.

Academic Coordinators are pleasant, motivated and student-oriented people, responsible for finding and screening potential host families and matching students with the families they will live in for the duration of their program.

Academic Coordinators can learn much about life and customs in other countries by working with exchange students, and can make friends that last a lifetime. Academic Coordinators receive training and compensation for their placement and supervision responsibilities.

I have first-hand experience in placing students and have lived the excitement of homing foreign-borns. If you have any reservation (maybe to Greece) or questions, let me share my knowledge.

Who knows, maybe the next time you dine out, the 12th grade soccer player from Italy you are hosting can interpret the menu for you!!



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