Our exchange student, Marisa, flies back to her native Albania tomorrow. She’s been with us since August. I’ve been working on a gift for her for a few days, and finished it up tonight.
Last summer, we decided to host an exchange student. We went through a program called PAX, which is ultimately housed in the United States Department of State. It’s a highly competitive and rigorous, and well-managed scholarship program
We did not take this decision lightly, and in the end we decided that we would give it a try. To say we were rewarded by that decision is an understatement. Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about Marisa, but for now, I’ll just say that hosting an exchange student can be a rewarding, enlightening and educational experience for everyone. It also builds bridges in a world that has many ravines to cross. Our children, Marisa, and my wife and I have all been rewarded many times over.
There are all kinds of exchange programs – short term, long term, country-specific, region specific, etc. Check around, there’s a program that fits your needs. The only thing you really need is a willingness to be open-minded, patient, and prepared to have an amazing experience.
Yet another way to give your time. Host an exchange student and build a connection with someone across the world. It may even last a lifetime.