iE-USA student & Host family Blog

Experiencing the world with iE!

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...

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

What comes to mind when you think of foreign exchange students? Is it cobblestone streets winding through quaint European cities? Is it foreign languages, or interesting international cuisine? To be sure, INTERNATIONAL is what we're all about - but as a nonprofit...

“They called us the United Nations”

“They called us the United Nations”

How many international guests is "too many"? If you're the Kitzmiller family, there's no such thing! Carolyn Kitzmiller has worked with exchange students for 7 years, and during this time her family has hosted countless students. "I do it for the relationship," says...

Superbowl + 1 = TOUCHDOWN!!!

Superbowl + 1 = TOUCHDOWN!!!

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...

Igniting Global Change Through the FFA

Igniting Global Change Through the FFA

Burnt River may have only 15 students, but this tiny western high school in Eastern Oregon has become an unlikely hub of global interaction, growth, and discovery. And since life in this small town revolves primarily around agriculture, it's fitting that a small but...

Sue’s Story: How Saying “Yes” Changed Everything!

Sue’s Story: How Saying “Yes” Changed Everything!

Embarking on a new adventure can feel a little daunting, and sometimes downright scary. This is true of exchange students waiting to set foot on American soil, but it can also be true of host parents, anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new family member! Host mom Sue...

Navigating the NEW

Navigating the NEW

When Tina and Thomas McNeil agreed to welcome 16 year old Diego from Spain into their home, they knew it meant more than housing a guest: they were adding a member of the family! Host brothers Tate and Troy even agreed to share a room so that Diego could have his own....

EXCHANGE the old in for the NEW!

EXCHANGE the old in for the NEW!

JANUARY - it's 30 days packed with new resolutions, goals, dreams and commitments! An entire month of "I'm ready!" and "this is the year!" and "let's DO this!" But as hasty resolutions fall by the wayside, we tend to become wiser about our Januaries. Sure, we may...