If anyone remains doubtful about the lifelong impact of hosting an exchange student, let us show you CHI Host Parents Valerie and Kevin’s European adventure, made possible in large part by the lasting connections and goodwill they’ve fostered over many years of hosting exchange students through CHI. They’ve opened their home and shared their lives numerous times, with high school exchange students from Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. This past summer, Valerie and Kevin went from host family to exchange visitor when they spent a few weeks abroad visiting some of their past exchange students.
It all started on August 6th, when Valerie and Kevin departed Portland, Oregon and landed in Hamburg, Germany where they were greeted by past students Finn and Mats, as well as their families.
They spent their first few days touring around Germany. Finn, Mats, and their families were so excited to show Valerie and Kevin around.
Then on August 9th, Valerie and Kevin flew to Madrid, Spain to meet up with another past student, Rodrigo. They all spent the next few days sightseeing, at places like Real Madrid Stadium and the Royal Palace of Madrid.
After that, it was back to Germany on August 11th, where they tried driving on the Autobahn and spent time with the family of current exchange student Zamou. Over the next few days, they visited Neuschwanstein Castle and caught up with their past exchange students in Hamburg.
Finally, they said goodbye to Germany and their German exchange students and flew to Milan, Italy, where they met up with one more exchange student – Giorgio. Over the next week, they spent a lot of time with Giorgio and his entire family. Everyone was excited to show Valerie and Kevin around, and they visited amazing sites such as the Port of Venere, Marina Di Andora, Livorno, the city of Volterra, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Firenze (Florence), and Piazza Del Duomo.
All good things must come to an end however, and on August 24th, Valerie and Kevin made their way back home to Oregon. What an amazing adventure!
Valerie and Kevin were incredibly touched by the efforts that their past exchange students, as well as their families, made to make them feel at home. You could say this was the trip of a lifetime, but Valerie and Kevin had such a good time, they plan to return in two years to see everyone again! They also plan to visit their exchange student from Japan during the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo, in 2020.
Thank you, Valerie and Kevin, for sharing your adventure with us, and thank you for continuing to be amazing host parents with CHI!