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Welcoming Host Families Recognized By Students

Welcoming Host Families Recognized By Students

With the first month of the New Year now over, we wanted to take the time to honor two host families this month! Both were nominated by their Ayusa exchange students and have made their time and experiences together wonderful!

The first Ayusa host family was nominated by Geoffrey from France. The Lyon family, in Altamonte Springs, Florida, is hosting Geoffrey for the school year. He has reached out to nominate his host family because “they are just wonderful.”

When Geoffrey found out he was chosen by a host family he was ecstatic! While Geoffrey isn’t the first exchange student that host parents Leigh Ann and Adrian have hosted, he is their first boy. His host sister Caitlin is only a little younger than Geoffrey but he says, “it’s pretty awesome to have [a sibling] the same age.”

Since the moment he got off the plane, the Lyons have tried to make Geoffrey’s experience wonderful. They even brought one of their past exchange students from France with them to the airport to help him through the first few days with any questions he may have! Every day the family has dinner together and asks each other how the day went. “Even if I am an exchange student, they treat me as their son,” explains Geoffrey, even joking, “now we are two men in the house so it's easier for my dad to win the debate because I'm on his side of course.”

Ayusa Host FamilyEven after only being in the U.S. for four months, Geoffrey says, “I consider them them as my second family and we have a lots of things to live and discover together…it’s crazy how just a stranger family can totally represent a lot for you since you met them. I want to say thank you to Ayusa for giving to me this incredible family!!”

The second Ayusa host family is the Tweedy Family in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Tweedys were nominated by their exchange student, Denisa. Denisa is from Indonesia and is also a part of the YES program. She says she feels like she is “lucky to be a member of the Tweedy Family” and that she has “one great younger sister and one amazing younger brother.” Deinsa tells us that December was an unforgettable month for her, all thanks to the Tweedys. She was able to meet so many amazing people, including extended family of the Tweedys, travel to new places, and experience new things!

The Tweedys took Denisa with them during the winter break to Mississippi, which Denisa says “is different 360° than Las Vegas.” All of the trees, amazing views of the town, and abundance of cows actually reminded her of where her grandmother lives in Indonesia! While in Mississippi, the Tweedys introduced Deinsa to extended family, all of whom were very excited to meet her. Her host siblings and cousins taught her how to play new games and showed her the best ice cream parlor in town! For Denisa’s first Christmas, she received a world map which holds a great meaning for her and encourages her to “go to many places in the world.” Denisa hopes one day she can be “someone so [she] can be a useful person in the world.” Being able to meet all of the Tweedy’s family and experiencing Mississippi was “unforgettable” for Denisa. She feels like they are “already part of [her] real family,” and is so thankful for her host family!

Thank you to Denisa and Geoffrey for sharing these great stories about your host families!

If you would like to nominate your host family as Host Family of the Month, please send a written story and pictures to new@ayusa.org!