Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Would I host an Exchange student from Spain's Basque Region? & My Exchange Student Story....

Why Would I host an Exchange student from Spain's Basque Region? You may ask your self, what do I have to offer?  Or what do I have to gain by participating in this program. You have to offer and gain friendship, knowledge, caring, laughter, global and community connections. I have not only made friends with students, but with other hosts in my community, who are now friends. Many of our hosts go on to visit their students in Spain, and there is nothing better than Spanish hospitality, except maybe Basque hospitality.  The only down part of this whole experience is saying goodbye

For 20 years STEP has been bringing the world together through foreign exchange.  The newest addition to the STEP programs is the Wilmington , NC group.  The last week of  June 2012 ; 25 Students from Bilbao, Spain will come to Wilmington, NC to be "inmersed" in the English language and American culture.  Please be a part of our journey and Step up for STEP.  One month can change lives  and tie two communities together forever.

My Story : About 17 years ago, Living in Upstate New York with my family. My children were young at the time and a neighbor asked me to host for the 10 month school program. I never heard of hosting before in my life. Growing up in Delmar New York and living in the suburbs of Schenectady NY .which is a great community with wonderful schools!
 I started to think more about it , responded to an ad to become a coordinator for CHI in San Fransico. I was able to locate a five month family for a girl Flavia from Brazil ! Wow I was so excited. We did alot together and she helped me with my children at the time ! We became very close and we all loved the International exposure for me and my family. I placed 15-20 students per school year with CHI and then started to run summer programs for the students from Bilbao Spain.
We started hosting ourselves and enjoyed all of our students very much, and try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. My children grew up and we moved to Wilmington , NC in 2009. With my son Jeremy in College at Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach and now at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. I'm a Registered Nurse and enjoy the beach, floral design for weddings , concerts, working out, and beach volleyball. Plus I enjoy Travelling and have been all over the world because of these programs.