Most of the time, we don’t get to choose our family. We don’t get to choose who tucks us in at night, or who helps us get ready for school or work in the morning. Very rarely, however, we are presented with the opportunity to choose an addition to the family – a sister or a brother perhaps, or a daughter or a son.
We are the Marez family – two parents, one dog, and 5 children. We learned about hosting through a friend who posted about the need for host families on Facebook. One of my close friends from my junior year in high school was a German foreign exchange student, and I was immediately excited about the opportunity.
ETC host families host for several different reasons. Some decide to host to increase their family’s cultural awareness or to learn a new language, and others host to experience what it’s like to parent a teen, to have a positive role model for their children, or to simply help make a student’s dream come true.
Each year ETC provides inbound program opportunities for high school students throughout the world to study in an American high school and live with an American family. In addition, the ETC family is proud to participate in community building and cultural events like Giving Tuesday, International Education Week and holiday parties.
For many families, it is very difficult to arrange and pay for large family international vacations. Hosting a foreign exchange student allows families to bring the foreign country right into their own home. Countries cease to be distant places on a map and become a nation and culture that is dear to people’s hearts.