From Exchange Student to Local Coordinator

Our Local Coordinators come from all walks of life, but each one provides support, understanding, and passion for the program. Whether they have hosted before, or in Nicoletta’s case, been exchange students, they have a love for exchange that they love to share with those around them. Years after spending time abroad learning English, Nicoletta has returned to the world of exchange and shares her love for our American families and international students.

“The first time I got to know about the exchange student program was back in 2019. Somebody tagged me in a Facebook post looking for host families. I was intrigued, I started asking questions and I became interested in hosting but, unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right for our family. A couple of months later, I saw a post on Facebook where they were looking for a Local Coordinator in the Anchorage area. I thought it would be a good way to understand the program better and get to know some awesome kids from other countries.


I am not originally from the United States and I have always been interested in being in contact with people of different backgrounds and fostering cross-cultural experiences. In addition, while I was not a high school exchange student, I did go to England to learn English after college and lived with an English family for a while. From there I went back to Italy for a while and then moved again to England for work and after that to the States. So I did go through all the ups and downs in living in another country, facing a different culture, and being homesick and I did make, for example, the mistake of making comparisons between my country and the new country I was living in. Therefore, I can understand what the exchange students go through once they start their adventure and I can give some suggestions.

Being in contact with the exchange students and the host families is a very humbling experience. The students are just amazing kids. I honestly envy their bravery to live this experience when they are so young. The kids that I have this year are so busy and talented. The host families are another positive example. I know they always look forward to the experience but they are always a little bit nervous too, some more than others. Some of them don’t have teenagers, just little kids, and I am sure it is an adjustment, maybe more for them than for the students, but they go with the flow. What always struck me about the host families is the curiosity they have for another culture, the courage they have to open their door to a completely unknown person, and the willingness to modify their daily routine. It is not always easy, but it is such a positive bonding experience between the exchange students and their host families and I’m proud to be a part of it. Exchange students and host families are always an inspiration!”


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to bring your skills to the STS Foundation team, and give your community the incredible opportunity to learn about a country and culture firsthand. Join the STS Foundation team today and help in our mission to foster greater mutual understanding in our world and to empower young people to grow through the power of cultural exchange! Learn more about becoming a Local Coordinator.

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From Exchange Student to Local Coordinator

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