Have you ever thought about what goes on behind the scenes in student exchange? There are countless people working together to make the program run, and one of the most pivotal is the role of “Local Coordinator!”

Most of our Local Coordinators discovered iE as a way to support their passion for travel, youth, or service – and the flexibility and unmatched compensation make it all the more easy to stay!

One such coordinator is German native Dorothee Cooke, who’s been with iE for 6 years and has become an integral part of the team! We’re honored to share a bit of her story with you here.

Dorothee is a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids ages 10, 7, and 4. Though life keeps her busy, she finds that working for iE as a Local Coordinator fits well into her daily life.

After moving from Germany 6 years ago, Dorothee has enjoyed connecting and networking within her home city of Indianapolis, IN.

“I’ve done a lot of networking, gotten my name in the schools, and I think it’s very important to work with your RD and to get a feel for what works in your community,” shares Dorothee. “I’m now in my 5th year, and it’s been a wonderful learning process. My first year I made 1 placement, then 3, 5, and 6, respectively – THIS year I’ve already made 10 placements, and it’s only April!”

Dorothee’s experience in student exchange is representative of the freedom and flexibility (to place 1 student or 10 students, as you are able) that many coordinators enjoy.

“I also really enjoy interaction with the students,” shared Dorothee. “I like to experience different nationalities, and to be surrounded by young people. I also feel honored to get to know so many families in the area. It’s truly AMAZING how many American families open up their home for an adventure!!!”

Dorothee was once an exchange student in France, so she understands just how valuable the experience can be for a teen who is just discovering their personal identity in the world.

“It’s a very rewarding program,” shares Dorothee. “You make 2 sides happy – you can make a difference in their lives, and I have kept in touch with most of my families for years after.”