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Host Family Articles

Say “Yes!” To Hosting: The Rickett Family

become a volunteer host family!

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:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam.

I have always wanted a daughter, always.

“Because of ETC I now have a daughter, lifelong friendships with some of the best ladies I have ever met, and a new understanding of blood doesn’t make a family.”

— Kayla (host mom)

I have always wanted a daughter, always. But god blessed me with the two, most precious boys I’ve ever laid eyes on. And then one night, my insomnia-induced Facebook browsing led me to a decision that has changed my life, for the better, forever. 

I seen a post in a Facebook group about hosting an exchange student that peaked my interest. I had went to high school with a few and had the best experience seeing my home town and high school through somebody else’s eyes. So I talked with Nathan (my husband) and we both agreed, why not give it a shot?

I requested more information on hosting a student and the next morning (mind you, this was like 1130 at night) this amazing lady, Teresa (ETC senior field manager), contacted me. A few hours later I had filled out a hosting application and picked out our first student! It happened SO fast, after I had tome to think about it, I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. Little did I know, that one decision opened up such an amazing opportunity for my family.

Fast forward 10 days and Teresa called me again and asked me if I was interested in being a local coordinator for the exchange company, because I had a couple of friends interested in hosting a student, too, so they needed somebody to oversee those students while they were here. Once again, sure! Why not?!

When Marina arrived, I was terrified! Wandering what I had gotten myself into. She probably thought we were crazy, and probably still does. But quickly, she was no longer just an exchange student, she was a member of our family. My boys absolutely adore her, their sister, and she is absolutely fantastic with them. She’s funny, sweet, there is never a dull moment. Had I know how amazing this would have been, I would have done it sooner.

Say “Yes!” To Hosting: The Rickett Family
Say “Yes!” To Hosting: The Rickett Family

And here I am, 7 months later, overseeing 6 of the sweetest girls from Spain, Germany, and Italy. I’ve made new lasting friendships with my amazing host families. I’ve traveled to San Diego and Miami, which is something I would have never done by myself if not for ETC.

Because of ETC I now have a daughter, lifelong friendships with some of the best ladies I have ever met, and a new understanding of “blood doesn’t make a family.” I am forever grateful for that Facebook post I found.

— Kayla R. (host mom and local coordinator)

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