Student Interviews: Meet Nora!

It’s been so fun receiving student applications and looking at the wonderful group of students we are placing for the 2018-2019 academic year! In addition to the applications they submit, we conduct interviews with each student over Skype to get to know them and learn more about them. Each kid is different in their own way, and interviews are the perfect time for them to shine! Learn more from our interview with Nora, below!

Student Interviews: Meet Nora!

Exchange Student Nora

Interview with Exchange Student Nora

Nora is an especially smiley and talkative girl who couldn’t help but make our staff smile along with her!

Q: Tell me about yourself

A: I love sports and dancing and I like to think I am responsible with my studies. Sometimes I’m hyper and sometimes I’m lazy, but I’m always talkative and I love to hang out with my friends. My favorite sports are volleyball, basketball, soccer…and I also enjoy swimming.

 

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?

A: PE! But seriously, I like physics and I like chemistry. Even though I’m not great at it, I enjoy it. I hate math.

 

Q: Why do you want to go to the United States?

A: I’ve always been attracted to the USA. I got the chance to go to New York last summer and I loved it! I also want to learn many new things…..the culture, the people. I think this is a good chance to grow as a person.

 

If you’d like more information on hosting Nora, reach out to a Program Coordinator at info@saeglobal.org! You can also visit our photolisting to see more about Nora or any of the other students.

Read More

 

 

New Students from Spain

We are looking forward to welcoming new exchange students from Spain to the United States this upcoming fall semester! We are currently seeking host families for these high school students during the 2018-2019 school year. These kids have amazing backgrounds and interests, and they’re excited to experience life in the United States. Through hosting, they can call another family their own and call the US home! This is the perfect opportunity for your family to participate in cultural exchange.

Meet our newest students seeking host families

Nora is a 14-year-old girl who is outgoing and has lots of hobbies! She enjoys dancing, playing violin, writing, playing sports, and more. She visited New York last year and is excited to learn more about American culture.
Jaime is a 16 year-old boy who is active and easygoing. His favorite activity is skiing in the winter, but he also enjoys summer activities like swimming. He can’t wait to visit the US and improve his English.
Sofia is a bubbly 14-year-old girl whose favorite thing to do is help people. She loves art and wants to be a dentist one day. She’s excited to build a relationship with her host family.
Sergio is a 14-year-old boy who’s exceptionally creative and active. His favorite activities include playing sports like soccer, playing the piano, and singing. He also loves to cook with his family. He’s looking forward to getting to know his host family!

For photos and more information about our students, visit our photo listing or contact us at info@saeglobal.org! Check out our photo listing regularly, as we’ll be adding new students. 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

 

 

SAE Holidays

In December, our host families and exchange students celebrated the holidays together. Students experienced American holiday traditions for the first time, like decorating a Christmas tree and exchanging gifts. It’s heartwarming seeing our families and students bond with each other. Hosting a student is like having a new son, daughter, brother, or sister in your family.

Check out some of the fun activities our students and families shared below! We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and look forward to the new year. Stay tuned for highlights from our January SAE event!

Student exchange is a fantastic way to share American traditions like Christmas with a student and learn about traditions in their home country. If you aren’t hosting a student right now and are interested, now is the time to sign up! We are currently matching students for the 2018-2019 school year! You can have the chance to share new experiences with them too.

Visit our photo listing to meet our waiting students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. You can also sign up to be a backup host family or submit a FREE application now to host a student in the future! Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More

 

 

Winter Wonder

Winter is finally here! It’s getting chilly outside, and it’s the perfect time for host families and exchange students to enjoy fun winter activities together! Our students might be new to American winter traditions, so here is a list of 10 ideas of how you can have a blast together this winter:

1. Decorate a Christmas Tree

Whether or not you purchase a Christmas tree from a store or a Christmas tree farm, it’s fun to decorate it with ornaments, Christmas lights, and more! Try making homemade decorations as a fun craft to do together.

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice skating is a classic winter activity that can be done indoors and outdoors! If you or your student are new to ice skating, you can try taking ice lessons together.

3. Give Gifts

In America, it’s typical to give gifts to friends and family for the holidays. You can exchange gifts on Christmas or play fun gift games like White Elephant or Secret Santa!

4. Build a Snowman

If it’s snowing in your area, building a snowman is a fun winter tradition! You can decorate your snowman with materials like sticks, vegetables, and more.

5. Have a Snowball Fight

Have a ball battling with each other in a snowball fight using real snowballs or “indoor” snowballs!

6. Drink Hot Chocolate

When it’s cold outside, it’s the perfect time to stay indoors and drink hot chocolate by the fire to stay warm and cozy.

7. Make a Gingerbread House

It’s fun to build a gingerbread house with candy and icing! Be creative with how you assemble and decorate your gingerbread house.

8. See a Christmas Light Show

You can drive around together to see neighborhoods decorated with Christmas lights or watch professional Christmas light displays!

9. Watch Holiday Movies Together

Winter is a great time to watch classic holiday movies like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and more.

10. Share the Story of Santa Claus

In America, Santa Claus is thought of as the jolly man wearing a red suit who delivers toys to children on Christmas, but Santa is portrayed differently in other countries. You can share the American story of Santa Claus with your student and ask about their country’s Santa traditions!

We hope that our host families and students have an great time together this winter. If you’d like to share your stories and pictures with us, please send them to info@saeglobal.org.

If you aren’t hosting a student currently and are interested, it’s not too late! We are currently matching students for the Spring 2018 semester and 2018-2019 school year, and you have the chance to share new experiences with them too. Visit our photo listing to meet our students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More

 

 

SAE Gives Back

In November, our host families and exchange students celebrated International Education Week and Thanksgiving by showing appreciation and giving back to the community. For many students, it was their first time experiencing American fall traditions like eating Thanksgiving dinner and going Black Friday shopping.

Check out some of the fun activities our students and families shared below! We hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and look forward to enjoying winter activities together. Stay tuned for highlights from our December SAE event!

Student exchange is a fantastic way to share American traditions like Thanksgiving with a student and learn about how they celebrate traditions in their home country. If you aren’t hosting a student currently and are interested, now is the time to sign up! We are currently matching students for the Spring 2018 semester and 2018-2019 school year! You can have the chance to share new experiences with them too. Visit our photo listing to meet our waiting students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. You can also sign up to be a backup host family or submit a FREE application now to host a student in the future! Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More

 

 

Announcing Our 2018-2019 Students!

cultural exchange

Meet Our New Exchange Students Seeking Host Families

We are looking forward to welcoming more exchange students to the United States this upcoming fall semester! We are currently seeking host families for students who will be attending high school during the 2018-2019 school year. These are kids with amazing backgrounds and interests. Through hosting, they can call another family their own and call the United States home! This is the perfect opportunity for your family to participate in cultural exchange!

Rebecca is a 14-year-old girl whose smile and cheerful personality will leave a lasting impression on you! Her hobbies include playing violin, gardening, and badminton. She also enjoys volunteering at her local museum. She would love to listen to an outdoor concert with her host family!

Learn About Cultural Exchange

For photos and more information about our students, visit our photo listing or contact us at info@saeglobal.org! Check out our photo listing regularly, as we’ll be adding new students. 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

 

 

Life as a Local Coordinator

Today we interview Jane, one of our Local Coordinators, about her experience helping connect exchange students with host families!

1. What inspired you to become a Local Coordinator?

“My friend and his wife wanted to host an exchange student. They asked me to be their Local Coordinator, and I said yes! Also, I taught ESL for bilingual students at an elementary school for 15 years, and I love interacting with kids. Just talking to them is fun. This is my second year being a Local Coordinator, and I’m currently helping two students from China. Being a Local Coordinator is tremendously different than what I expected because I had never thought about working with exchange students before. However, now I’m thinking of hosting a student myself in the future!”

2. What do you find rewarding about the position? Have you experienced any challenges?

“The best part about this position is watching the kids grow emotionally and gain confidence in their English. By the end of the year, they can talk like typical teenagers. Also, I’ve learned about other cultures by spending time with the students and talking about their family and life back home. I learn based on what the kids share with me.

Last year I didn’t experience any challenges, but this year one of the students has been pushing more rules. It’s nothing major though, and this is typical high school age behavior, especially for kids who are away from their parents. They’re all good kids!”

3. Do you have any funny or interesting stories to share from working with families and students?

“One of my students right now had never seen a bonfire before, and he was initially horrified when his host family set up a campfire in their backyard. He didn’t understand why setting a yard on fire was considered entertainment, since there are no fireplaces or grills where he lives in China. Once his host family explained the purpose of a campfire though, he had a great time sitting around it roasting marshmallows.

Another one of my students went to IHOP for the first time and had never used coffee creamer before. She actually drank the creamer straight from the container! These are all customs we take for granted living in America but are new for exchange students.”

4. If you could give advice to someone considering to be a Local Coordinator, what would it be?

“I would advise them to be patient. The challenge is getting students here and helping them settle in with their families. You have to go with the flow and roll with it when things change very quickly, such as when their arrival times are delayed. Also, you have to be able to let parents vent to you. A lot of the time, they just want someone to listen to them and not necessarily give advice.

I’ve had a great experience as a Local Coordinator though, and I love meeting families and students and making new connections. Hosting is a great experience for everyone!”

Are you interested in becoming a Local Coordinator? Student Ambassador Exchange is now hiring Local Coordinators across the US to place exchange students with host families and serve as a liaison between them! This is an amazing opportunity to make new connections and learn about other cultures. For more details about the position, visit our website or contact LC@saeglobal.org today!

Read More

 

 

Halloween Happenings

For many of our exchange students, it was their first time carving pumpkins, wearing costumes, and trick-or-treating with their host families. Our staff also carved pumpkins with our students and host families in Austin for SAE Halloween Week. Check out our gallery of Halloween happenings below! We hope everyone had a spooktacular time and look forward to enjoying more fall activities together. Stay tuned for highlights from other upcoming SAE events!

Student exchange is a fantastic way to share American traditions like Halloween with a student and learn about how they celebrate traditions in their home country. If you aren’t hosting a student currently and are interested, it’s not too late to sign up! We are currently matching students for the Spring 2018 semester, and you have the chance to share new experiences with them too. Visit our photo listing to meet our Spring students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. You can also sign up to be a backup host family or submit a FREE application now to host a student in the future! Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More

 

 

Halloween Around the World

Dressing up in costumes, going trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins are fun activities that many Americans do for Halloween. Have you wondered if Halloween is celebrated in the countries where our exchange students come from?

China

The Chinese celebrate the Hungry Ghost Month in July or August, where they honor their ancestors and appease ghosts. During this time, they perform ceremonies to prevent the wrath of ghosts, such as lighting incense, burning fake paper money to “give” to ghosts who need it, and “feeding” hungry ghosts by leaving food for them.

The Ghost Month tradition is linked to Taoism, a religion in China. According to Taoism, the gates of the underworld are opened at the start of Ghost Month, and hungry ghosts roam around finding food or getting revenge. On the last day of  Ghost Month, many people float river lanterns, since ghosts are thought to follow the lanterns away.

Spain

In Spain, Halloween is a three-day celebration that starts of on October 31st with “Dia de las Brujas” (Day of the Witches) and ends with “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd. The Spanish version of Halloween focuses on honoring the dead, rather than being a commercial holiday. Customs and rituals are performed during this time, including visiting the grave of lost loved ones.

Around Spain, you’ll see other activities like Halloween fiestas, festivals, pumpkin carving, costume parties, and more!

Thailand

Halloween in Thailand is usually overshadowed by their annual Loi Krathong Festival, but Halloween celebrations are brought to Thailand in areas where Western expats and tourists spend time. Thailand does have a culture of ghosts and supernatural legends. In Thailand, you may see miniature spirit houses, which provide shelter for spirits. People will light incense and place offerings such as food or flowers to ghosts in the spirit houses, so the spirit will protect their home and bring good blessings.

If you’re looking to celebrate a Western-style Halloween in Thailand, Bangkok is known for its Halloween festivities and parties!

Vietnam

Like in Thailand, Western-style Halloween is sometimes celebrated in big cities or where tourists and expats brought the tradition. Traditionally, Vietnamese people believe that when someone dies, their soul goes to the afterlife where it is judged. Souls in the afterlife are able to be released when the living prays for them.

They celebrate a festival called Vu Lan, where they perform these prayer rituals, so hungry souls will return to their home and gather with family. Incense is burned and meals are provided for souls of family members and wandering souls, so they can rest in peace.

Student exchange is a great way to share Western-style Halloween traditions with a student and learn about how Halloween is celebrated in their home country. If you aren’t hosting a student currently and are interested, it’s not too late! We are currently matching students for the Spring 2018 semester, and you have the chance to share new experiences with them too. Visit our photo listing to meet our Spring students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More

 

 

Fall Firsts


Happy fall, y’all! We’re excited for cooler weather, trees changing color, and fun fall activities. Our exchange students may be new to American fall traditions, and now is the perfect time to create new experiences and memories with them. Here is a list of activities and events you can enjoy together this fall:

Watch a football game

Cheer for your favorite team together at a football game! Get in the spirit by wearing your team colors and going tailgating. Tailgating is a tradition where fans get together, eat food, and have fun before the game.

Attend a state fair

There’s something for everyone at a state fair. Eat funnel cake, go on carnival rides, win prizes playing games, and more!

Go to a fall festival

Fall festivals are fun for family members of all ages. Go to a pumpkin patch, walk through a corn maze, and eat kettle corn.

Pick apples at an orchard

Visiting an orchard is a great way to spend time together outdoors. You get to pick your own apples and learn how they’re grown!

High School Homecoming

Students can get in the school spirit by going to the homecoming dance, attending the pep rally, and watching the football game.

Halloween activities

Have a spooktacular time with your exchange student! Carve pumpkins, dress up in costumes, and go trick-or-treating together.

Thanksgiving

Spend time with family members, give thanks, and eat tons of delicious food!

We hope that our exchange students and host families have an amazing time together this fall. If you’d like to share your stories and pictures with us, please send them to info@saeglobal.org.

If you aren’t hosting a student currently and are interested, it’s not too late! We are currently matching students for the Spring 2018 semester, and you have the chance to share new experiences with them too. Visit our photo listing to meet our Spring students and check back regularly to meet any new students added. Contact us today to find out how you can change one student’s life through education and cultural exchange!

Read More