Monday, September 13, 2010

Reuniting with an Exchange Student and/or Host Family from your Past

Have you ever reunited with an exchange student you hosted or a family that hosted you while you were an exchange student or studied abroad?  What was that experience like for you?  Please leave a comment with details below!

I have reunited a few times over the years with my host families from Rosenheim, Germany.  I was fortunate enough to be an exchange student twice during high/seconday school for a month during the summers after my sophompre (2nd) and senior (4th) years of high school.  I stayed with two different families during these exchange experiences and on my second exchange I was able to visit my first host family.  During my junior (3rd) year of studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire I studied abroad for a semester in Valladolid, Spain (my wife and I met on this program!) and after my stidies I backpacked Europe and stayed with my second host family again for about 4 or 5 days and visited my first host family again as well.  I have remained very close friends with my second host brother (he was actually an exchange student at my high school the year before my summer stay with him as our high schools have had an exchnage program for the past 20 years and you can read a brief history of this exchange program here).  During the fall of 2008 my good friend Christian came to visit me and my family in Chicago for three weeks and it was so great to reconnect with him in person.  We even made it up to Milwaukee to visit one of our good friends from high school who participated with me on the same two exchanges (see photo above).  The following year, in late summer 2009, Christian returned to visit and stay with us again for three weeks but this time he brought his wife and two sons!  It was great meeitng his family and my two older children frequently refer to their visit and playing with Christian's children.  I look forward to the next time our paths cross in person.  I think my family and I owe him a visit to Rosenheim!

Christian and I have stayed in touch and communicted frequently over the past 23 years via letters and post cards from our various travels and then via e-mail and now via Facebook but it was really great to see him in person again!

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  1. I lived with a host family in France in 2000-01 and my host sister came to stay with my family for a few weeks in the summer of 2002, but I haven't seen her (or the rest of the family) again since 2004. Gosh, it's been a long time! We're still in touch on Facebook, but my host siblings have been all over the world in the last few years.

    My family's German exchange student comes back to visit every couple of years. We've hosted other exchange students, but she's the one who "stuck" and really became part of the family.

  2. Great post! For another heart-warming reunion, check out this recent post on the APIstudyabroad blog :)

  3. Also, I had a dream last night that I went back to Grenoble with my family and couldn't find anything anymore. Looks like I need to go back and refresh my memory!

  4. This December my husband and I are traveling to Strasbourg to celebrate the 40 years of friendship between my French "sister" and I. We were on a mutual exchange in which she came to my house in the summer of 1970, and I went to hers for the summer of 1971. There has not been a single year when we haven't been in touch in some way.