Host Families Learn From Exchange Students

April 27, 2007

Author: Anita Clark

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Wanted: Wisconsin families willing to share their lives with a teenager from another country, perhaps from a very different culture.

"It's not how we're different that is important. It's when you learn that we're the same," said Dick Schultz of Fort Atkinson, a coordinator for the Aspect Foundation student exchange program.

"People who host are people who are willing to learn more about the world and are interested in the differences," said Holly Dowe of Beaver Dam, a volunteer with the AFS student exchange program.

AFS hopes to place about 90 high-school students with Wisconsin families in this area. Aspect will host about a dozen teens, three of them Muslims. Students will arrive in August for the school year.

If it sounds daunting to welcome a stranger with new dietary requirements and different prayer habits, host mother Cheryl Daniels of Madison can offer reassurance based on hosting five exchange students, plus three children of her own.