Becoming “mom” and “dad” to an exchange student

After a friend of theirs decided to host an AFS Exchange Student, Margaret and Matthew C. from Michigan were curious to see what it was all about. Their son Andrew was really excited about having a sibling from another country, so eventually, the day came where they felt ready to welcome what would be the first of six international students.

Matthew says the experience helped his family appreciate that “day to day, people generally want the same thing, no matter where they’re from.” Margaret adds, “[Hosting] really broadened my perception of the world as a whole.”

Their host son, Andrey from Brazil, has also gained a lot from his time with his American host family. It didn’t take long for him to go from sharing cultural insights to becoming a true member of the family. He says,

 “I think there’s a certain part of your exchange where you realize that you belong to your family in your host country, and you feel comfortable calling your host parents dad or mom, and you know that if you are struggling you can openly talk to them.” 

Margaret especially enjoys how Andrey “embraces everything and is willing to try every new thing or experience.” She believes that this has encouraged the rest of her family to be open to different perspectives, and that being a host parent or sibling is a great way to “keep your mind open to new experiences and learn new things about yourself.”

If you’re curious as well about bringing the unique experience of hosting an exchange student to your family, let us know you’re ready to learn more.
 A local AFS representative will be in touch to answer any questions you have and share info about nearby schools that are welcoming students.

In the meantime, see the specific AFS students who could enrich your family’s life this fall by clicking on the button below and entering your zip code!

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