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ETC Exchange Student Finds Connection with his Host Mom

ETC Exchange Student Success Story

Read a truly inspirational story about an exchange student's year abroad and how once he opened up and adapted to the culture, he never wanted to leave.

We are seeking volunteer host families this January 2022

Please let us know of any families you think have the willingness and resources to help one of our exchange students. Exchange students come from one of these countries:

Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain, and Vietnam.

Learn more about how you can help an exchange student this January 2022.

Host Mom and exchange student share their story

Thorben and his twin brother from Germany decided to experience the U.S.A. through the ETC Exchange Program this year. Thorben had a wonderful host family and a great host brother Rodrigo to share this experience with. His amazing host mother Chriss recalls how Thorben, shortly after his arrival, started to retreat into himself and was not actively present in the family life. The host mother felt sad to see his lack of engagement in the family life and thought she would not be able to make him react and open to his environment. During the academic year, Chriss saw glimpses of hope here and there and could not give up on him. The situation became quite intense and was creating friction with other members of the family. Thorben was at a crossroad and was the only one that could change the direction of his behavior. Our team even considered for Thorben, to perhaps move to another state. His hermetic attitude did not deter this amazing host mother. Thorben had a choice to make, and he decided to stay and be part of Chriss’ family. This decision was the catalyst to a progressive and positive change for Thorben. The student started to be more involved in the activities with his family gradually.

ETC Exchange Student Finds Connection with Host Mom

The relation with his host mother Chriss became closer and closer. Thorben even extended his stay for 30 more days in the U.S. The host family organized a fabulous trip through the U.S.

ETC Exchange Student Finds Connection with Host Mom

“In those 30 days he helped me plan and was my navigator for an amazing family road trip.  He took more pictures and wanted to see more than everyone else in the family.  He did not waste a minute of those extra 30 days. When it was time to go home, we both cried and did not want him to get on the plane we joked that there was traffic, and he would miss the plane.  He texted me when he got home that he forgot he could speak German and he missed us.  We spent most of the next few days talking and making plans to see each other on coming breaks in not only the US but eventually Germany as well.  Talk about a change, with the right mind set anything is possible.”

– Chriss

ETC Exchange Student Finds Connection with Host Mom

Perseverance and compassion from his host mother allowed Thorben to flourish in the program. ETC team (Our fantastic Senior Field Manager Michele) rallied with him and Chriss to provide the best caring support. This story truly inspires us to know the extraordinary value of our program.

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