Why this host mom likes hosting an international high school exchange student!

Every year, hundreds of international high school students come to the USA for a semester or a full academic year. Greenheart relies on our awesome community to be host families to some amazing teenagers from all around the world. We recently asked one host mom, Whitney in Arkansas, to tell us a bit about hosting Natalie from Brazil.

Why did you decide to host? 

My husband had an exchange student growing up, and he still enjoys talking to him. So, when we saw a Facebook ad, we thought it would be neat to bring a new culture into our home.

What part of life in the USA do you like to share with Natalie? 

We love sharing our mountains and the rivers and lakes in the river valley area.

What’s it like getting the exchange student situated and comfortable in your home and the school/community? 

We had to enroll Natalie, and get her schedule situated. We have encouraged her to come to church with us which has led to more friends and fun in our home.

Why do you think exchange programs are important and how would you describe your experience?

I think it’s important to remember there is more to life than our homes. Inviting a new culture into our home has been an amazing reminder of that.  It has been such a great experience. We are truly feeling like we have a new Brazilian daughter.

What is the hardest thing about hosting an exchange student?

I think it is hard when our exchange student misses her family. I try to encourage her when this happens.

What’s the best thing about hosting an exchange student? 

We have loved learning Portuguese, and learning more about Brazil. It has made me research places outside of the normal Brazil you see on tv.

Thank you Whitney for sharing your experience!  
If you are interested in hosting an international high school exchange student, please visit hostwithgreenheart.org to learn more.