Commentary: Open your heart and home to an exchange student

I am a local coordinator for an international exchange student nonprofit. Exchange students are 15 to 18 years old, and we are looking for four or five volunteer host families for our students in the Edmonds School District. The district has a deadline of June 15 for host families to choose their student.
Volunteer host families throw another plate on the table, show love and support to their exchange son or daughter, and can get a small tax write-off each month that they are hosting. Students come in August for the 2018-19 school year.
Volunteer host families get 24-hour, seven-days-a-week local support, and can host up to two students at a time. Volunteer families can be with or without children, single or married, and we have many host families who are empty nesters or retired.
Exchange students come with their own spending money and their own insurance, and most speak good to excellent English and have very good grades. They are here on a cultural exchange and really just want to live with an American family to call their own.
Here are a few of our outstanding students, and we have many more!
“Tina” from Kazakhstan is a 4-point student and speaks English very well. She likes to read and to write, has been studying modern dance for years, and says she would like to be a journalist when she grows up. She would like to try drama club or maybe cheerleading when she comes to America. Her favorite subjects at school are math, history and geography and languages. She thinks you in advance for allowing her the opportunity to come to America.
“David” from Germany is a good student with excellent English and he likes to ride his bike, play basketball and tennis, and also likes to draw and write. He sometimes plays card games or video games with his friends, and says he’s very excited to come to America because he wants to try to join some of the clubs at school — and reminds us that they don’t have clubs or sports at school in Germany. His dream is to play American football in the country of its origin. His parents say he’s very polite and obedient, and is very excited to be part of your family.
“Sally” is a 15-year-old girl from Spain. She has a 4-point-plus grade average, and a twin sister. She loves animals and music, likes to draw and paint, and says she’s very excited to experience the culture of American high school! She says she’s very grateful to her future host family, and tells them they don’t need to worry about her because she’s “very independent and smart.”
These students can share a bedroom with another student close to their age, and will go to school in our neighborhood.
We could not do what we do without our volunteer host families. Won’t you open your heart and your home to a student from another country?
Please contact Jennie Duncan at for more information.
— Jennie Duncan

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