In case you hadn’t noticed, the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal. (ha!) 

As a national icon of connection and camaraderie (and, oh yeah – FOOTBALL!) families across the nation gather to eat delicious snack food and critique the much anticipated commercials and halftime show.

Football fans paint their faces, don jerseys, and shout at the TV screen whenever a play gets particularly exciting. (It’s probably the one time a spectator sport involves so much exertion from its fans!!) 

This is all standard fare for an American family! But what about an international student?

football7For many students, football represents the epitome of American culture – which is one reason so many jump at the chance to participate!

Whether that’s joining the high school team, trying out for the cheerleading squad, or simply showing up on Friday nights to cheer on their school, connecting with “football culture” is one more way our students round out their AMERICAN experience.

And the Super Bowl is a huge part of that!

Just think about it. When else does our nation collectively consume over 1.3 billion chicken wings in a single day?!

But all joking aside, the celebrations surrounding the Super Bowl are wonderfully representative of life as an American – complete with familiar foods and jovial friendships – and as such, they draw our students even deeper into what it means to belong.

football10As you enjoy the Super Bowl festivities this year, imagine filling one more place on your sofa with a bright-eyed exchange student eager to take it all in.

Imagine laughing over a tray of hot wings and sharing the joy of cheesy puffs tossed into open mouths.

Imagine the giggles you’ll share when the room suddenly explodes in shouts and cheers while your poor student sits stunned, wondering what just happened! (Can you picture it?)

These slices of “normal” life, when shared with an exchange student, multiply into something so much more. Students grow and stretch and learn and adjust. After a school year spent with your family, they will never be the same again. And I’m willing to bet, after a year welcoming them into your family as one of your own – learning to see your own world with fresh eyes  – you’ll never be quite the same, either.

Next year, let’s plan on “Superbowl + 1” in your living room.

(There will certainly be enough chicken wings!)