CHI News Virginia: And the winner is…

​​ Each year Cultural Homestay International offers one voucher for a drawing for airfare* for every seven host families.   Max and David (my kids) helped to draw this year’s winner from our seven host families:  The Drumhellers in Lovingston hosted Diego from Spain.  The Dempseys in Charlottesville hosted Alex from Slovakia.  The Harvey-Newcomb family…

On The Radio

The always lovely Wendy Edwards at WINA hosted us and a couple of the other exchange programs to talk about the opportunity of hosting an exchange student, what the program entails, and how to apply. You can check out our chat on Conversations with Wendy at the podcast here: Hour 1 Hour 2 So, if you’d…

Way to go, Thao!

  Virginia’s own exchange student, Thao, at Fluvanna County High School was written about on the Cultural Homestay International website. “CHI high school exchange student Thao Nguyen, from Vietnam, is one of seven CHI high school exchange students currently in Virginia.  Thao’s departure back to Vietnam at the end of her program this year is…

A Day Together

A few weeks back the CHI Virginia group (7 exchange students, 4 host families, and a couple of the CHI staff) took a hike together. It was warm (I got a little sunburned), but our families had fun.  Getting to spend the day with our amazing big-hearted host families was awesome.  I felt pretty excellent…

“My big brother”

Sometimes I take to the streets (or farmers markets) to talk to people about hosting exchange students. One of our amazing local coffeeshops, Mudhouse, sometimes lets me set up a little table outside to talk to people and answer questions. While sitting outside Mudhouse, I heard a number of questions.  I get questions everywhere, but…

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…

Exchanging Gifts

The kids that come to the U.S. as exchange students are tremendous.  They are amazing young people that courageously leave their homes to spend almost a year abroad. They do this out of a hope that the experience will bolster their futures, improve their English skills, and strengthen their future careers.  More and more, English is considered…

On Couch Surfing

I was a couch surfing host before I worked with exchange students. I get asked sometimes how I came to be involved with the exchange student program.  In a roundabout sort of way, Couch Surfing led me here. When I was a young adult I really wanted to travel the world.  I actually applied and was…

Exchange Students: GOALS

I started working for Cultural Homestay International in April as Developing Academic Program Administrator. Essentially, I’m responsible for growing an exchange program that places international high school students with volunteer host families for a semester or academic year. More commonly, the academic year. I LOVE cultural exchange and I’m sure I’ll write much much more…

Self Care: What’s That?

It might be a terrible idea to try to crank out 4 blog posts right. now. But I am. I’m doing it to get myself organized and after that my goal will be to post 2-3 a week. There are 3 categories that I’m talking about in this blog. Exchange Student Program Social Issues & Being a…

Let’s do this.

I’m Helen.  I’ve been meaning to getting around to this. Blogging. My blog is for myself in a number of ways. It is my hope that stating my goals in a public space will help me keep myself accountable. Thanks for helping, internet. 😉 As I write, “To state my goals…” I feel a wince in my brain…