Making Wyoming a second home for international exchange students

(Casper, Wyo.) - Bring the world closer together, learn about a new culture and language, make family across the globe. These are just some of the great reasons to welcome an exchange student into your family. EF High School Exchange Year is a non-profit organization with a mission of breaking down barriers of language and culture and fostering understanding between the USA and countries across Europe and Asia. EF is one of America’s oldest and largest student exchange programs, and Wyoming high schools have been welcoming EF’s international students for decades. “My family hosted for the first time this year and our student has become a part of our family,” says first time local host mom, Brook R. “I would recommend hosting; it has been an amazing experience. We are already dreading the day our newest daughter has to go home!” Coming to live in Wyoming is a wonderful experience for foreign exchange students. We have terrific schools, warm and genuine host families, and natural beauty beyond belief. Students get very excited about everyday things we take for granted, like choosing classes at school, pep assemblies, school sports, and favorite American holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween. Even riding in a yellow school bus or making s’mores or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are things the students have never experienced! ​​EF exchange students are between 15-18 years old, have insurance and their own spending money, and attend high school for one or two semesters. “I was nervous before coming but everyone in Wyoming is so nice,” says Mimi, who was an exchange student last year. “I feel lucky to have spent 10 months in this lovely place.” Host families are encouraged to treat their student as a member of the family, not as a guest. By sharing everyday experiences and events, such as birthday parties, holiday traditions, evening meals, sporting events, movies and even household chores, host families give their exchange student a true American experience. In return, the students introduce host families to new customs, cultures and language, and offer a new perspective on the world. ​“I would have to say when we first decided to host a student we were a little nervous about what to expect,” says local host family, Scott G, “It has been an awesome experience. It is amazing what you learn about your own culture just having a student stay with you. Annica cooked us schnitzel and potatoes last night and it was awesome. It has been great having her here.” Overwhelmingly, EF host families say the exchange experience has allowed them to create life-changing friendships, gain fresh perspectives on the world, and enrich their families and communities. In fact, many Wyoming host families enjoy the experience so much that they host multiple times. You never know, you might find yourself visiting your student in their home country someday! Make 2016 the start of International exploration for yourself and family by welcoming an exchange student. You can learn more by visiting or by contacting your local coordinator: Ben at 307-259-4164, Charles at 307-258-6113 or Zhanna at 307-797-2461. #news #sponsored #oilcity