In September 2014, Gabriela from Ecuador spent two weeks in Chicago with the U.S. Department of State’s Youth Ambassadors Program with Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Like all of WorldChicago’s youth exchange participants, she stayed with a host family.
They treated me like one of them!
“When I traveled to the U.S. I thought that I was going to be alone, and I really was afraid to live with another family, specially because of the language,” Gabriela said. “But when I met them I changed my mind, there’s no better way to know U.S. culture and its people, than by living with a host family.”
For her host family the Polsters, this was their first time hosting an exchange student with WorldChicago. Their daughter Leslie had recently returned from a five-month study abroad in South America. They wanted to give another student the same experience Leslie had by providing a student with a warm and welcoming home.
You can read more about Gabriela’s experience living with her Chicago host family in this reflection she wrote for our national program partner World Learning.
— Maria Krasinski, WorldChicago
Are you interested in hosting a student like Gabriela? Visit our Homestay Hosting page for more information about hosting expectations and requirements, and learn about upcoming hosting opportunities.