I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to host last July. It was my first time hosting foreign students. I was a nervous wreck. You were professional, reassuring and always available to answer questions and you put me at ease. Since I was hosting Japanese students for this program, and I didn’t know more than 3-4 Japanese words, I had printed out a list of Japanese words and there English meaning. It proved to be a big help due to our language barrier, which bless their hearts; they tried very hard to speak proper English & worked at it every day. I had 2 young boys & everything went smoothly. We had a wonderful time. They enjoyed their time in CA and the classes & activities with FOA & the things we did.
The info you provide us with is quite helpful. I feel like I know the kids a little bit before they arrive. Having their pictures, names, likes, dislikes, family members info and the short note telling us about themselves and what they want to do or get out of their trip is truly helpful. It helps jumpstart the relationship, as it gives us things to talk about on our way to the house after picking them up.
Since last July, I’ve had the privilege of hosting with you, approximately 10 students, aged 11-17, both boys & girls. It has been so very rewarding and fun. It’s been a great experience for me & my older sons that came and spend time with us. I have come to love each one of them, as if they’re my own kids and am developing lifelong relationships with them and their families. Several of my students want to return again through FOA, or for college, they want to study abroad & live at home with mom, as they say. Most of us have kept in touch via texting, Facebook and Skype. We work on their English, American culture and vice versa, while getting to know each other better.
When I was asked to host over Christmas for 10 days, I was hesitant, but discussed it with my boys, who were going to be home. The two girls being here ended up being the best 10 days and Christmas we’d had in years. We baked & decorated cookies, stockings, made ornaments & went out to see lights. They had never done any of these things & on Christmas day seeing them go thru their stockings and opening their gifts was touching. They’d never had eaten anything I made for dinner before that night. It was so cute watching them take pictures of everything. We bonded over those days and for the first time, I wasn’t ready to have them leave. There is such a huge difference in how X-mas is celebrated & we’d been having so much fun. We all cried when I had to drop them off to return home. Even my dog was sad!
If you’re ever thinking about becoming a host family and have room in your hearts and in your home. Don’t hesitate, apply right away. You’ll never regret it. It’s a win-win situation. You’ll be so glad you became a host!