Hosts and guests love to share stories of how they spend time together

Host Donna Giroux recounted how she took her student and her roommate shopping upon arrival to get items they needed to set up their apartment. Host Phil Mummert felt his children learned many valuable lessons through sharing with their students. Another host, Debby Sherman, shared how her students arrived the day before Thanksgiving to help her prepare food for the feast. They loved the turkey, dressing and all the trimmings as well as playing with the Sherman dogs (who also loved all the activity) on Thanksgiving Day.

Shared experiences, strawberry festivals and family dinners ease adjustment to a new home

For student guest, Lakshya, the warm welcome from his hosts, Sang Eun Woo and Louis Tay meant so much to him. It was his first time away from India and he was a bit nervous. His hosts had been international students themselves and understood the challenges he was facing. He was introduced to their friends and colleagues and soon felt he was with family and part of the community. Jaime, from Colombia, recalled all the adventures he had with his hosts - attending a local strawberry festival, playing Scrabble, and enjoying holiday parades and outdoor picnics together. Huma’s hosts, Catherine and Mark Bell, quickly became her family here as she often ate dinner with them, both at their home and in restaurants. It made her feel at home and helped her adjust to American life. 

Relationships between hosts and guests often continue past program end

Host, Suzan Mertes, said they they are still in touch with all of the students they have hosted the last few years and are so enjoying watching them move into the next phases of their lives. "We've even had the pleasure of meeting one student's mother and another student's parents and aunt. We hope to visit China, southern Africa, and perhaps even France in the next couple of years," said Suzan. Relationships in IFP that span cultures, miles and even years are well worth the investment.