Friday, December 18, 2009

Cultural Exchange

I remember in High School having Foreign Exchange students in my classes. I always thought it was kinda cool. A student traveling half-way across the world to my little town to learn the American culture. I thought alot of the people that made it possible.

I received an email from a lady from the Face the World Foundation, that happend upon my blog while researching interesting facts about S. Korea. She is looking for Host Families that would be interested in taking in a student from Korea . . . eleven students to be exact. I was very interested, to say the least. She just simply asked me to forward on her information to families that I knew that *might* be interested. So I did. Then she sent me seven profiles of seven High Schoolers from South Korea that were interested in the exchange. In the profiles are their pictures, family information, hopes and dreams for the future, grades and letters to their prospective Host Families. I have one handsome fella already picked out. However, I have to remember that we *might* be traveling to Korea this late spring/summer. That's cool, he can come with us, spend time with his family while we pick up baby sister. How cool would it be to have a guy that can show us the "real" side of Korea! He'll miss a big chunk of school - but maybe it will be during Spring Break! Then I started thinking about the living arrangements. He'll have to occupy baby sister's room. A teenager needs his space, ya know!

Many of the profiles say "active," meaning they want to be in every program imaginable. Well . . .wouldn't you want to be in every program offered at that age, exprience that culture first hand? You! Bet! Then, I began to think "can I offer this young man everything that he wants to exprience while catering and bonding to my daughter?" Sadly, no. My heart says "absolutely!" but unfortunately my logic says "definately in the future." I'm sure there are many of you out there with the same reservations. BUT if there are some of you out there that would LOVE the opportunity right now, I have the contact information that will get you started.

Meanwhile, let me leave you with a letter from one of the students that is waiting for an exchange. It is intended for his prospective host family and the letter is in his words.

"Dear Host Family,

This is (name omitted) who is really looking forward to metting you very soon.

I am going to introduce my family members : father, mother, younger brother and myself. We have two cats and they are also our family members. All of my family member is very kind and love to enjoy sense of humor.

I love to play soccer and I have many friends who can play games with me. We usually meet at playground in school. If possible, I would like to participate in school soccer team. I can make many friends and lessen stress through playing soccer.

I have a dream to travel all around the world. I do not want to live just in my country. If possible, I want to experience many other cultures and learn their strong point. I am sure it will make me more responsible and mature. Eventually, I want to be a world citizen. I am sure being an exchange student is my first step to make my dream come true. I really want to experience as much as possible with my host family and new friends. I am sure I am well prepared and will do my best.

I really appreciate to you for inviting me into your family. I will do my best to be your family member so please do not hesitate to ask me anything that I am supposed to do as your family member. I will respect your family rule and keep trying to good relationship with all of your family member. I deeply understand it is not easy decision to host foreign student for one year. I really thanks again and I am sure we can make wonderful memories together.

God bless you and your family and take care!

See you soon~

Sincerely yours,

(name omitted)"

I read this, and everything in me wanted to start the process. Isn't it the cutest letter?! They all study English for 4+ years and I think he did a pretty awesome job! I will moderate the comments, to keep it more private for those that want information. Leave your email and let me know! You can also get information on the website if you'd rather.

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