By opening their home to an exchange student American families gain a new international family member. They can also gain a whole family ready to welcome them into their home across the ocean; a family ready to show them the same love, support, and care as they did for their son or daughter during the exchange year.
Read the three letters below and see how two distance families that have never met, have become a global family through exchange. See how person-to-person exchange fosters relationships and promotes a mutual understanding between people of different countries from around the globe.
A Letter of Appreciation from a Natural Mother:
Written by Sveta Farmanyan; Natural Mom of Gohar Minasyan (2017; Armenia/TX)
A couple of months ago when I let Gohar to go to USA, I couldn’t even think about having [her] across the ocean.
Dear Kole and Brooke, it’s hard to find words to express my emotions. Dear Kole, you became a good [father] and a good friend for Gohar…you took care of my daughter as a real father, let her to enter your family and treated her as your own child. I wish you all the best and always know that our family is by your side.
My lovely, my wonderful, my positive and amazing Brooke. I think you should know how much I love you. You’re a good person, a good woman and the best mother… Thank you, that my daughter was happy to be home after long school day, that she didn’t feel as a stranger. You were nice not to only Gohar but to other students in her cluster as well. You did everything possible so the girls would feel good in your house and around you. I’m grateful to you and Kole for Gohar’s achievements. Her achievements during this year are yours too.
Most of all I’m thankful for our little angel- Oliver. He made our life brighter. I know how much Gohar loves Oliver and she couldn’t ask for a better brother.
We couldn’t even imagine that far from Armenia there is a family that could become so close to us. I’m sure that this relationship will be a lifelong… Always know that over the ocean there is a family in Armenia who loves you and where you are always welcome to visit.
A Host Mom’s Experience:
Written by Brooke Perkins; Host Mom of Gohar Minasyan (2017; Armenia/TX)
Who would have thought that at this stage in life that my husband and I would be hosting a foreign exchange student! This year has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences we have ever been a part of! We absolutely adore Gohar and love her being a part of our home. She has become one of the family.
I am passionate about sharing our experience with you all because I want other families to know just how rewarding this can be. I never thought I would be hosting an exchange student with such a young child, but I am so glad we took this leap. Oliver, our 2-year-old LOVES Gohar! She has become his best friend and I think the feeling is mutual.
I truly wish she didn’t have to go back home. Her family in Armenia are so kind and I am so glad that they supported and encouraged their daughter to take this journey! We really did gain a new family by being a part of such an amazing program. We have learned so many new traditions and we will continue celebrate them each year. I hope Gohar knows the impact she has made on so many people. We love her and will miss her dearly.
An Exchange Student’s Reflection:
Written by Gohar Minasyan (2017; Armenia/TX)
Even though it’s hard to believe but my exchange year is almost over! This year was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Just a year ago I was counting down the days and wanted them to pass as fast as possible so I could start leaving my dream and now I’m at the finish line.
My experience was full of ups and downs and I could never ask for a better one! I’ve enjoyed my time in the States a lot, and I’m thankful to every single person who was part of my year.
I’m grateful to have the best placement organization ever and my local coordinator, Sarah thank you for everything you’ve done, I really appreciate it, and Thank you, World Link for my World Link family that I have. It is crazy to have friends from every corner of the world, it has been a great pleasure to share my culture with them and to learn about theirs.
Thank you FLEX, for making my dream come true…
I’m thankful to my parents! Thank you for understanding me, for letting me to do this and for supporting my decision!
I’m thankful to my host family (Brooke & Kole) for everything you’ve done for me, thank you for loving me and always being by my side, for letting me be a part of your family and for opening your heart and home for me! I’m blessed to have you in my life. You made my year unforgettable and full of joy. Thank you for Oliver! I can’t find words to express my love for him and I don’t think that I need to. I’m just lucky enough to have you, that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Learn more about hosting an international exchange student through World Link.