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Having an exchange student has made us get out and enjoy the gifts of our own great country

This week is Host Family Appreciation Week here at CIEE. We asked our host families to share stories with us about how hosting has impacted their life. 

The Elozory family lives in Tampa, Florida and is made up of host mom Bonnie, host dad Daniel, their teenage daughter Diana, and service dog. They are a first time host family and hosting Natalie from Germany.

“I love being a host mom. It gives me the chance to share our lives with another kid. We get to see the world and especially America through fresh new eyes. Our exchange student feels like an important and complete part of our family. We've had so much fun showing her America. It's made us get out and enjoy the gifts of our own great country. Getting to know all of the other exchange students in our area has also been such a rich experience for us. We find the kids to be very energetic, thoughtful and inquisitive people. They are the doers of the world. They've left the comfort of home to venture out and meet and live with foreigners. I find them brave and interesting. They have expanded our view of the world. 

Elozory 4
Seeing our exchange student blossom and grow has been exciting. She's gotten involved in sports, the choir and many things our own kids didn't do. We get to see her preform in shows and compete in events. It broadens our life experiences. We've met so many people because of her. 

I cannot recommend enough inviting an exchange student into your home. Sharing your life with another person expands your understanding of the world. It allows one to see things new and afresh. 

My daughter plans to travel to her student's home this summer. We are so excited for her to see the larger world. Certainly the exchange student program fosters a universal dedication to peace through knowledge and understanding of each other. We learn how we are different and also alike. It's a wonderful lesson for young people to learn. 

We feel very grateful for this unique and special year. I cannot recommend it enough!”

Thank you Elozory family for sharing your story!

Interested in sharing your story about how hosting has impacted your life? Post on Facebook and Instagram, tagging it with #WhyIHost and #CIEEBestYearEver.

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