Down in Texas, we’re full of ideas for outdoor summer activities. Whether we’re hiking, playing sports, or cooling off in the water, there’s never a shortage of fun things to do. So when last week met us with days of rainy weather, we were at a bit of a loss. One of our students, Elaine, absolutely adores rainy weather. She explained to us that rainy days are “very comfortable, especially in the summer to slow down the dry heat. Rainy days are suitable for thinking, and people’s minds become calm. The rainy season in my hometown is wonderful.” We’re a little less enthusiastic about the rain, so we came up with a list of activities that host families could do with their exchange students despite the gloomy weather.
- Make scrapbooks together! The year is going to go by faster than you can both believe it. Making scrapbooks is a great way to spend time together collecting memories, and when your student goes home you will both have something to look back on all of the good times with.
- Family scavenger hunt: You can either look for uncommon objects around the house or go to a local shopping center. This is a great way to keep everyone moving despite being cooped up indoors, and it’s also a good opportunity for your student to pick up some new vocabulary while looking for items on their list.
- Watch your favorite movies: Watching movies and TV is a great way for students to strengthen their English while also getting to relax. Beyond that, you can learn more about each other by watching movies that are important to you.
- Get cooking: Food is a great way to connect with another culture while getting to enjoy a tasty treat. Whether you’re decorating cookies, preparing specialties from your student’s home country, or teaching your student how to make some of your favorite dishes, you’re bound to bond while having fun.
Rainy days can definitely drag on, but you’ll never run out of opportunities to connect with your exchange student and form a strong relationship. We are still matching students for the 2018-19 school year. They’re excited to come to America and experience so many new things, regardless of the weather. To learn more about these students, check out our photolisting or reach out to us at email@example.com today!Read More
June is always a bittersweet time in the office. As we get excited for our new students to arrive, we also have to say goodbye to the students who have made the US their home over the last 10 months. It’s hard to believe that only last year they were preparing for this experience. We thought it would be fun to read the letters they wrote before arriving and see how they changed and grew through the experience. We’ve highlighted three students below:
Elaine thoroughly enjoyed learning about American culture over the year – ESPECIALLY celebrating holidays the American way! She dressed up for Halloween with her siblings and wrote her host parents and grandparents thank you notes at Thanksgiving. She even wrapped presents for her host family for Christmas and filmed the whole process!
Irati hoped for a little sister and wound up spending the school year with two little sisters AND a little brother! She thoroughly enjoyed all the time she spent with them. From watching sporting events together to traveling across the country on family vacations, she’s fully embraced her host family and gets to count them as members of her extended family!
While we are sad to say goodbye, we are excited for our new students to arrive! In a few months, they’ll have the chance to live out everything they wrote about before arrival. We can’t wait to hear about them watching their first football game, picking out Halloween costumes, and teaching their host families about where they’re from.
If you are interested in joining one of our students on the adventure of a lifetime, visit our photolisting and learn about the students who are still available to be hosted! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!Read More
Each of our exchange student’s write a unique letter to their future host family, and these letters are a great way to get a feel for their personality and lifestyle. Take a look at Sofia’s letter below!
Student Letters: Meet Sofia!
My name is Sofia and I’m 14 years old. I live in Spain with my mother, my father, my brother, and my dog. I’m currently in 9th grade. All of my professors think I’m a nice student because I get good grades and my behavior is good. Outside of classes, I swim and do sports. I also play tennis and dance 2 days a week, but not in school. Last year, I played basketball 3 days a week and on Sundays I would compete in matches.
My hobbies are photography (I love taking photos of landscapes and animals), makeup and fashion (because I love shopping), and traveling to different countries and cities. I also love watching football (soccer), listening to music, meeting with friends, and watching movies and TV shows.
During the week I go to school from 9 AM to 5 PM, then I come home, study, and some days I go to tennis or dance. Other days I will go to a fitness center. On the weekends I meet up with my friends and go out with my family.
My relationship with my family is very good. We are close and love each other. My role in the family is to help with anything I can and be an educated, intelligent, and kind girl.
In the future, my plans are to go to university and make a career in odontology. I would love to be a dentist and have my own clinic.
A family should host me because I’m nice, and all my friends and family say that I help all the people, and because I love spending time with family.
I can’t wait to meet you!
If you think Sofia would be a great match for your family, read more about her on our photolisting and reach out to a program coordinator at email@example.com today!
The school year may have started, but we are looking forward to welcoming more exchange students to the United States! We are currently seeking host families for exchange students who will be arriving in early January and attending high school during the Spring semester. Are you unable to host a student for an entire school year but are still interested in taking part in cultural exchange? This is the perfect opportunity for your family!
For photos and more information on these students, visit our photo listing or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Spots for host families are limited, so click here to submit a FREE application today! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn about another culture, share new experiences, and create a lifelong connection!Read More
While Hurricane Harvey has brought devastating floods to many areas of Texas, we have been very fortunate and are happy to announce that our Austin office has not been impacted. We are safe and operating under normal business hours. Our thoughts are with our friends, families, and fellow Texans who have been impacted by the hurricane.
That being said the team at GWCA/CAN/SAE are gathering donations for Central Texas Food Bank and Austin Pets Alive to be allocated to our friends in need all over southern Texas. If you are local we encourage you to donate to the above organizations or you can bring your goods here and we’ll deliver them for you.
If you would like to participate, please bring whatever of the following:
- Canned Foods
- Anything from this list for cats/dogs (note that they do not need any dog food or dry food anymore.)
We appreciate your support and our continued thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
248 Addie Roy Rd. Suite A102
Austin, TX 78746Read More
As the summer comes to an end, we are preparing to say goodbye to two incredible volunteers who have helped us immensely — our summer interns! These incredible interns have truly gone above and beyond over the past few months to help out with our agency’s programs. While we are so sad to see them go, we are very excited to see what their futures hold!
Thank you so much for all of your hard work this summer, and good luck with your future studies!
Internship opportunities at GWCA, CAN, and SAE!
Are you a junior or senior in college? What about a graduate student working on a master’s degree? GWCA, CAN and SAE offer intern
ships to students in various fields of study to provide hands-on experience in international adoption and cultural exchange. This is incredibly beneficial for students interested in pursuing careers in international studies, communications, marketing, social work, psychology, sociology, and business. What’s the best part? Internships can be custom-tailored to your specific major and specific area(s) of interest!
**Note: These internships are unpaid. If you or someone you know is interested, please submit a cover letter, resume, and availability to: email@example.com.Read More
My Firsthand Experience with an Exchange Student
By: Nicole Springer – SAE Summer Intern 2017
I grew up in a suburb in Minneapolis, Minnesota, our high school was one of the largest in the area and we had so many diverse cultures and traditions at our school. However, most of my friends and I had never met someone from a different country.
During my sophomore year of high school a new exchange student from Iceland named Ben came to our school he also came with his older sister. He started to hang out with my same group of friends and eventually we got to know each other a lot better because he was in the same after school activities as me. When my friends and I would hang out with Ben we always had so much fun, he could make almost everyone laugh because of his easy going care free attitude. Whenever Ben meet a new friend every time he would try to convince people that in Iceland there are penguins walking around everywhere and you can play with them and have them as pets, strangely enough he could actually really convince people that this was true.
The more my friends and I got to know Ben and his family the more we enjoyed his company and learning more about Icelandic culture and traditions. Ben was leaving back to Iceland around the same time that his birthday was, so all of us decided to throw him a huge surprise birthday/going away party. We all hid downstairs at the house he was living in and when he came down we threw confetti and sprayed him with silly string. Till this day I can honestly say that’s one of the most fun parties I’ve been to.
Looking back at the time my friends and I spent with Ben I can honestly say that all of our worldviews expanded immensely and all of us really valued the time we got to spend with someone who seemed so different than us at first but once we got to know him we realized that he was just like any other high school kid our age, he enjoyed the same kind of stuff and was happy to hang out with the new friends he was making while being different than us at first but once we got to know him we realized that he was just like any other high school kid our age, he enjoyed the same kind of stuff and was happy to hang out with the new friends he was making while being abroad.
To learn how to open your family to an Exchange Student contact our team today. Registration ends soon, you don’t want to miss out!Read More
Ethan is an adventurous, caring and curious 17 year old boy from Lanzhou, China. Just this last year Ethan’s family was able to host their own exchange student from a program called AFS. During this year long experience Ethan was able to learn more about American culture and was also able to teach the other boy about Chinese culture. During their year together their relationship became very close and at the end Ethan considered the exchange student like a brother.
In his free time Ethan likes to play basketball and badminton. Most of all Ethan enjoys traveling so far he has been to Malaysia, Thailand, America, Korea and Japan. In the future he would like to backpack more around the world, in his own words Ethan says “I enjoy the feeling of being on the road. The destination is not the purpose of a trip; the purpose is to embrace different cultures, learn thing and find out more about yourself.
Ethan is looking forward to meeting his new family, he hopes that his year abroad can be another amazing traveling experience where he will be able to learn more about American culture and also improve his English language skills.
Check out Ethan’s profile on our photolisting to meet all of our students from abroad. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a host family, reach out to one of our Program Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us about hosting Ethan!Read More
Ignacio is a respectful, outgoing and kind 16 year old boy from Bilbao, Spain. He has a very close relationship with his family, he often helps out around the house by cooking and cleaning. Ignacio and his brother have an extremely close relationship, even his mother says “his younger brother literally adores Ignacio and will miss him very much next year.” Outside of his immediate family Ignacio also enjoys spending time with his grandparents, he often helps them with yardwork because they have a large country side home so there is a lot of yardwork to do.
Ignacio has a good group of close friends. The 5 of his closest friends and himself are almost inseparable. Every other weekend they spend time at each other’s houses, like most teenage boys their age they enjoy playing sports and video games. Ignacio is extremely grateful for his relationships with his friends because they are always there to help and support him.
In his free time he loves to play basketball, the training schedule he is on is a little bit strict but he knows it will make him a better player. Other than basketball Ignacio enjoys outdoor activities like canoeing, skiing, paddle surfing and fishing.
In the future Ignacio would like to go to college for business administration. He thinks this might be a good career path because it is such a broad area of work, so he is more likely to find a job.
Ignacio is looking forward to visiting the United States for the first time next year, he wants to discover more about American culture and landscape.
Check out Ignacio’s profile on our photolisting to meet all of our students from abroad. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a host family, reach out to one of our Program Coordinators at email@example.com and ask us about hosting Ignacio!Read More