The gift a host family gives their student is priceless: a new family in a new land.  They say, “Come, be part of our family!”  They say, “What’s ours is yours!”  But…why? 

Even in the face of such a meaningful gift, the Chugh family told us they were repaid beyond measure through the incredible value of the relationship they developed with their student. Maria from Germany stayed with the Chughs in their Florida home for one school year, but she quickly became more than an international guest: she was soon part of the family!

“Maria is a very unique and special person with a passion for life,” said Mr. Chugh.

Maria was well-liked at school and an ambitious student. She was also able to join the basketball team, despite not having played before. But her success at school was just one of many things that made Maria easy to love.

“She was just so thoughtful,” says Chugh. “Her gifts were always customized and her help with chores was always spontaneous.”

Maria also used her interests in photography and baking to “give back” to her host family.

She captured special moments with photos that the Chughs were happy to hang on their wall. She treated her family to custom cooking on multiple occasions: first German cookies at Christmastime, then a Russian dish at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

Most of all, the Chugh family agrees that Maria’s characteristic passion for life has inspired them to live life to the fullest.