iE-USA student & Host family Blog

Experiencing the world with iE!

Hosting Christian – The Right Fit!

Hosting Christian – The Right Fit!

When a family is matched with just the right student, we often find that the experience changes them, making a mark on their family that will never be forgotten. Carrie and Brian Barton and their son Kevin had often opened their home to others – a teen mom and her...

Hanukkah, Stockings & Saint Nicholas Too!

Hanukkah, Stockings & Saint Nicholas Too!

One of the brilliant parts of hosting an exchange student is the FUN that comes from including them in your family's holiday celebrations... and trying out some of theirs! This has been true of the Chudoba family, who is hosting Alex from Germany this year. This...

Leonie’s Christmas in America

Leonie’s Christmas in America

One of the joys of exchange is experiencing all the ways we’re different, as well as all the many ways we’re the same – and this is especially true during the holiday season! Leonie Gabriel from Germany is staying with the Fishel family in Fishers, Indiana. She and...

“Way to Go, Julie…”

“Way to Go, Julie…”

Christa and Brian Tesch may be new host parents, but they already feel right at home hosting 16 year old Julie. “She is a perfect mix of my kids’ personalities,” shares Christa. “I swear she could be my child! They all get along really well.” The Tesch family has two...

5 Pumpkin-Loving Activities For Your Family!

5 Pumpkin-Loving Activities For Your Family!

Exchange students love experiencing anything "American" - and what could be more representative of our culture this time of year than pumpkin spice lattes?! All joking aside, we are a nation that loves our seasons, as well as the iconic flavors that go with them. It...

Meet Julian

Meet Julian

15 year old Julian Schwiers may be far from his German hometown, but he’s quickly found a place all his own right here in Tennessee. Julian and his Spanish host brother Luis are sharing the host home of Shelly and Michael Treen – their second double placement in two...

Bring an Exchange Student Back to School!

Bring an Exchange Student Back to School!

It's back-to-school time across the country. As American students choose colored binders and stock up on pencils, more than 25 exchange students across the world are holding their breath, waiting.  They wait by the phone, anticipating the news that they have been...

Double Placement… Twice as Nice!

Double Placement… Twice as Nice!

The Peebles hosted their first student with International Experience in 2015, and while every experience has redeeming elements, their first hosting relationship didn't feel entirely fulfilling.  However, knowing that the magic happens with "the right fit," their...

Big Brother Nico

Big Brother Nico

When Tricia Lee was a child, she loved having an exchange student in the home. Now that she is a mom of four children, she's choosing the same adventure for her family! The Lee family in Minnesota has hosted a total of 4 exchange students, the most recent being Nico...

Share YOUR America!

Share YOUR America!

How will YOU celebrate this 4th of July? Did you know that there are many exchange students still awaiting a host home? These young men and women dream of the opportunity to soak up American culture - to shadow you and see what life is like in your shoes! This year,...

A BROTHER for the Ginnan Girls!

A BROTHER for the Ginnan Girls!

Kimberly Ginnan has fond memories of hosting an exchange student when she was a child, so she knew she wanted to  provide the same experience for her three girls. When the Ginnan's oldest daughter Gillian was in high school, they decided the time was right! After...

How two “only children” gained a sibling for LIFE!

How two “only children” gained a sibling for LIFE!

Justin Harvey is a 17 year old from Indiana with a love of maps, countries, and especially German culture. As Justin dove into the language in his high school German class, he dreamed of visiting the country he loved. Meanwhile, halfway acround the world in Germany, a...

Bienvenido, Maria!

Bienvenido, Maria!

When the Brennan family was asked to consider hosting an exchange student - again - they were understandably hesitant. A previous hosting experience hadn't been quite what they expected, and while it was "good" in many ways, it was also a significant adjustment. Could...

A Letter to Next Year’s Exchange Students

A Letter to Next Year’s Exchange Students

German exchange student Lorena Schraub visited Texas in 2013/14. Like most exchange students, acclimating to American culture was both thrilling and sometimes exhausting! In the letter below, she shares her experiences in order to pass on her wisdom to the next...

Empty-Nesters Find Global FAMILY Through Exchange!

Empty-Nesters Find Global FAMILY Through Exchange!

John and Ranelle Ladbury have hosted for 5 years, and they've already signed up to do it again next year! What brings them back year after year? With their own triplets grown and out of the house, this empty-nest couple found that their home (and their hearts) had...

A Fit Like Family

A Fit Like Family

When Maggie Stephenson was hired to supervise a student placement, she had no idea what was in store!  What she found was a connection to a young Spanish girl that was as strong as family. "Loreto comes to my house every Sunday, she spent Easter with us, I helped her...

Meet Me in Madrid!

Meet Me in Madrid!

Julie Rayhorn has been a Local Coordinator with IE for two years. During that time, she has relished the opportunity to connect with students from different parts of the world! This spring, however, Julie enjoyed a new perk: the roles reversed, and she became the...

Volunteer Week 2018: Host Families Give From WITHIN

Volunteer Week 2018: Host Families Give From WITHIN

When we think of volunteering, we typically envision going outside of ourselves to give something away. Serving at a soup kitchen requires us to leave our normal routine and give time and resources to other people. Picking up trash requires hours in the hot sun....

Welcome to TEXAS!!

Welcome to TEXAS!!

When 16 year old Johanna from Austria boarded a plane for America, she knew she was in for an adventure! But she never could have guessed how quickly a town called Lucas, TX - with the warmth of her host family and the energy of Lovejoy High School - would become a...