Students of 2016/2017

Let’s make this dream team’s dreams come true.

Our Virginia team of academic coordinators has been assigned these wonderful young people to find volunteer host families for.  It’s important to me that we make good matches and find wonderful supportive host families for these guys to spend their exchange year with. I want everyone involved (families, students, schools, communities, and my team) to have a great experience.

  1. Jenni from Finland:  PLACED with Linda & Tom in Luray! Talk about a great kid! Jenni is a 16 year old straight A student.  She’s flexible and enjoys cheer-leading (but won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t cheer during her year abroad) as well as photography, hiking & camping.  She loves her dogs and her family and is looking forward to her 11th grade year in America.

  2. Celia from Belgium: PLACED with Connie & Gary in Lake Anna!  Celia will be entering 12th grade during her exchange year.  She is a leader in scouts and enjoys hiking, camping, and dance.  You can read Celia’s letter to her future host family here. 

  3. Collin from China: PLACED with Elizabeth & Adam in Louisa!  Collin is a bright guy who hopes to have a future career in engineering.  He will be 17 and entering 12th grade when he arrives to the U.S. in August.  He has a younger sister, is close with his family, plays the piano and has a great sense of humor. In addition to being academically gifted, he is also a student athlete and plays basketball and soccer competitively.


  4. Mattia from Italy: PLACED with Elizabeth & Adam in Louisa!  What a neat guy! Mattia is the youngest in his family and would do well in a home with other teens or as an only child (retired host families, he might be a great fit!).  He participates on his track team and enjoys music, hiking and photography.  He will be 17 and going into 12th grade when he arrives in August.

  5. Nano From Spain: PLACED with Tiffany & Victor in Louisa! Nano is incredibly nice.  Nano loves basketball, soccer, and tennis. While he’s a competitive student athlete he also describes himself as a down-to-earth and responsible guy who loves his little brother.  He would do well in almost any family, but it would be great if he had a family with an active lifestyle that enjoyed his sports. Of note: Nano has indoor pet allergies and needs a pet-free home.

  6. Flora from Brazil: WELCOMED by Kelly & Trevor in Palmyra! Flora is an absolute joy! She’s 16 and will be entering 11th grade for her exchange year. She enjoys fashion and plays recreational sports and hopes to play a sport during her exchange year. She is the youngest of her siblings with 2 adult brothers and is open to being an only-child exchange student or sharing a home with other teens.  She is an easy conversationalist and coming to the USA as an exchange student has been her lifelong dream.  Let’s make it happen for her!

  7. Siyu From China: PLACED with Romantha & Rick in Palmyra!   I think of myself as a creative-artsy type and so I fell in love with Siyu’s application when I read it.  She sometimes doesn’t feel confident, but completely makes up for it in effort.  She works hard in school and dedicates considerable time to her art projects which include painting, drawing, and stamp-carving. She has a kind and generous personality and would likely do well in almost any family environment.

  8. Paula from Spain: PLACED with Heather & Patrick in Luray! Paula describes herself as curious and cheerful.  She is Catholic, loves language and hopes to become a teacher in the future.  She enjoys arts and crafts, dance, and participates in her track and field team.  She hopes to become a language teacher in her future career. Paula has a younger teenage sister whom she is very close with and would do well in a family with or without other children.

  9. Neen from Thailand:  PLACED with Pam & Tim in Luray!  PLACEMENT PENDING with Pam & Neen is an inquisitive and lovely 15 year old girl.  She plays the guitar and has been a student leader in her Buddhist student organization. She is a very responsible student, has high grades in all her subjects, and is learning Chinese as well as English (she is fluent in Thai). She also enjoys cooking, hiking, and photography.

  10. Haavard from Norway: PLACED with Neli & Dan in Albemarle! Haavard is a creative, intelligent fellow from Norway.  He will be 17 and entering 12th grade during his exchange year.  He is enthusiastic about comics and graphic novels and enjoys making his own costumes.  We expect that he will have a great year in America!

  11. Matus from Slovakia: PLACED with Helen & Chris in Albemarle!  Matus is a fun and honest guy who enjoys spending time with friends and playing computer games.  He also enjoys sports (especially hockey) and enjoys listening to music.  He has very strong English but hopes that his exchange year will make it possible for him to “speak English like it is my native language.” I expect him to be an enthusiastic exchange student who’s host family will have a great experience!

  12. Maria (Albemarle County Schools) From Germany: PLACED with Denise & Dan in Albemarle! Maria will be 15 and entering 10th grade at the beginning of her exchange year.  She is a gentle girl and loves her younger siblings, but also enjoys kick-boxing for fun!  She loves music and plays the guitar and the keyboard.She hopes to have a career in the future where she gets to relate to and learn about people (such as being a teacher or therapist). Performing well is important to Maria. She has a perfect score on her English proficiency test and is a straight A student.

  13. Giulia (Albemarle County Schools) From Italy:  PLACED with Lynn & Charles in Crozet!    Giulia loves being in nature.  She is Christian and has been very involved in scouting and found that she loves to hike, climb, and camp.  She also enjoys discussing current events with her family and would love to have a host family that shares their opinions and will entertain hers.

  14. Lara from Germany: PLACED with Carolyn & Paul in Lovingston! Lara will be 16 and entering 10th grade when she arrives to the U.S. in August. She is a serious violinist and also enjoys hiking and cooking.  She is flexible. Lara has a 13 year-old sister whom she shares her room with and would do just fine sharing a room with a new host sister or in a home without other children.

  15. Hannah: From Germany: PLACED with Misty & Jade in Forest!!!                                  Deb (my supervisor) met Hannah in Germany and tells methat she lights up the room! Hannah enjoys dance and is an only child but wants to stay with a host family with children so that she can have the experience of having siblings. Of note, she is
    EPSON MFP image
    Hannah Cartoon

    vegetarian. We can’t post photos of the kids we’re working with, so I drew little cartoons of a few of them.  I forgot Hannah’s glasses and couldn’t quite figure out how to draw her big smile.


Exchange students are amazing.  They inspire me.  It takes such guts to leave every thing that you’re used to for an entire school year to become a stranger in a strange land and I hope we can give them experiences that they’ll get to keep with them. (Maybe I’ll turn my doodles into a exchange student hero-comic someday).

I am excited about these fifteen students! If you are interested in hosting in future years (like next year ) your local coordinator’s contact information can be found under CONTACT at the top of the site, but if there isn’t a local coordinator for your area shoot me a message and we’ll work with you to answer your questions or match you to a student for a great experience.  I think this is a tremendous opportunity and I want you to love it as much as I do.

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