What Made Me Want to Host an Exchange Student

Each year, over 30,000 American families make the decision to welcome exchange students into their hearts and homes for 5 to 10 months. While each family has their own story of how they joined the exchange community, they all have had unforgettable moments with their exchange students that have changed their lives forever. Host mom Heather shares her hosting story!

Heather V Mar Bierge Benitez_HF Vavasseur

“People ask us regularly, ‘What made you want to host an exchange student?’ And this has always been my honest answer each time - ‘I have no idea!’ it was on a whim that I texted my husband a screenshot from Facebook about how STS Foundation was looking for a couple more families to host for the school year and I added, ‘[Our daughter] always tells us that we have another chair to fill at the dinner table.’ I sent the text thinking [my husband] was for sure going to call me crazy, but I was shocked when he sent back ‘That sounds cool, let’s do it!’ Good thing we have six chairs!

A year later, here we are. Sending part of our heart back to Spain. We had no idea what to expect or what we were doing with a teenager from another country – but we learned together – sisters included. We learned about Spanish culture and teenage life. We realized that there are many things we take for granted even on a daily basis because ‘it’s just the way we grew up.’ But we also learned that there is a great, big world out there that is filled with many different people and many different kinds of families and traditions, and ways to do things. And I hope my girls take that with them throughout their life, and forever keep in touch with their sister in Spain.”

Heather vavasseur Mar Bierge Benitez_HF Vavasseur (3)

Whether you have a specific reason, or simply have an extra chair at your table, now is the perfect time to discover new cultures, build lifelong friendships, and make dreams come true, all without having to leave home. From Spain to Serbia, New Zealand to Norway, you are bound to find the perfect student for your family with STS Foundation! Learn more about becoming a host family today.

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What Made Me Want to Host an Exchange Student

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