It is that exciting time of the year again when a group of German students are beginning to plan for their summer trip to America. As you begin to anticipate warmer weather and your upcoming summer, we hope that part of your plans include hosting a German exchange student.

As a German Exchange Student Host Mom, my family got involved with Ellie's exchange program five years ago and have since hosted several times. We began the program as a homeschooling family that wanted to expand our horizons and learn about another culture. We have received far more benefits and experiences than we ever expected. Not only have we developed international friendships that have hosted us in Germany, but we have enjoyed the summer activities with the group, and being part of a project that unites cultures.

In taking part in the German Exchange Student Program, I have gotten to know Ellie and her passion for her students and learning. When I taught years ago, I took a group of students to Washington, DC, each year; therefore, am fully aware of all the hours of planning and "leg work" involved in preparing and executing such endeavors! Ellie is generous with her time and personal resources to provide these experiences for her students and American families. As a high school teacher, Ellie does not financially benefit from these trips to the U.S. In fact, I have seen time and again when she is willing to pay out of her own pocket to help host families, German students and even German chaperones. Her heart is for German and American students to have the opportunity to travel to one another's countries and experience one another's cultures, but her program depends on willing American host families.

We would like to have you join our team by being willing to host on a regular basis. Ellie understands that schedules change and there may be summers that you won't be able to host, but she would like to be able to count on a few families on a regular basis. She realizes that every host family makes some sort of sacrifice and she would like to offset some of those sacrifices with a special contribution.

Ellie would like more of our American students to take advantage of participating in this program by visiting their friends in Germany; perhaps her gift could help you send your student to Germany!

The exchange program is a non-profit project and relies on families, like yours, willing to host German teens for the program to continue. We are always looking for new host families so if you have friends that would like to participate, please contact Ellie or me, at 821-2186.

Ellie will be coming to Rio Rancho in March bringing a group of Germans to exchange with Cleveland High School students. This would be a good time for her to meet any new interested host families for this summer.

Besides new families, we would especially like to be able to count on previous host families to host more regularly. Please let us know if we can count on your regular participation.

Thank you for being a part of the Exchange Student Program. I am available any time to answer any questions you may have or suggestions to improve this experience for you and your exchange students.


Kileen Sanchez