The Ireland family from Mound City, Missouri, is October’s Host Family of the Month!
Two years ago the Irelands decided to host their first exchange student. They said that they “decided to be a host family because we feel it will be a great experience not only to share our culture and community with someone from another country, but to be able to learn about another’s culture and community as well.” Mr. Ireland’s family hosted several students when he was growing up and he greatly values those opportunities and relationships he has with some of those student even today. Their children met one of these students when the student came back to visit and had such an enjoyable experience learning about where the student was from and how to communicate in a meaningful way that the Irelands jumped on the opportunity to host.
The Irelands sum up so beautifully the reason why many of our host families partake in the exchange experience: “Our family lives in a small rural community, but we have tried to make sure our children know that the there are no boundaries to opportunities that are out there for them. We think that by hosting a student we will just be adding to those opportunities to experience learning about others, but also learning how to relate to others in a positive way.”
This year they are hosting Roanne from the Netherlands, and in her words, she has the best host family ever:
“I could not wish for a better host family. It's like they are my family who I never met. In my first week in America they showed me all the awesome things about the real America. We went to the state fair with the camper for 5 days! The American barbecues, laughing at the carnival, going to a concert and doing all kind of fun things! Every week they are supporting me with my volleyball game! We still will do many things and I can't wait till we go to Florida during Christmas! And my host sister, Sydney, I think she is my lost twin sister. Sydney is awesome, and I don't want to think about that I have to say goodbye to her next year. I'm a lucky girl, because the Ireland Family is my host family. This will be the best year of my life!”