What Our Host Families Say About Us

“We were well prepared for a new member of our family by attending orientation sessions, so we knew about the honeymoon period followed by a period of adjustment, a settled-in time and the wrench of departure of what will now always be our de-facto child”
Sara, YFU Host Mother


“My wife and I had been considering hosting a student for some time, but were initially of the opinion that it would be better to wait for our daughter, who is nine, to get to her teenage years.  As a family we talked it over and decided that we would give it a try and host a student, we picked a young girl from Uruguay called Valentina. Vale settled into our family and became a big sister for our own daughter.  Through her we learnt a lot about a country we knew little about, and our own daughter grew so much through the whole experience, both through learning about another country and showing a visitor to our own land around and teaching her about the kiwi way of life.  The hardest part of the whole experience was seeing her off to go back home, she had became a part of our family, a friend to so many, and a big sister to our own daughter.  We still keep in touch and Vale is planning a visit back here in the near future, as we see it we now have extended our family to beyond our shores.”
Peter, YFU host father


“We loved our student. It was an enriching and rewarding experience to have shared cultural and personal experiences and many happy times doing things and being together. Wouldn’t have swapped it for anything.”
David and Cathy, YFU host parents


“When our student Ana, from Argentina, returned home, she left all of these messages hidden around our house.  For weeks, we were finding messages of goodwill that she had left and she left them in the unlikeliest of places.  Under a sauce bottle or in the bookcase between 2 books, etc”
Gary, YFU Host Father


“We started hosting exchange students in 2011, when we were certainly not considered a “standard” host family with no children of our own and we were just under 30 years old.  I had been an exchange student, we love traveling but unfortunately we can’t travel all year round, we wanted to share our home, family & culture and it was a great way to volunteer and bring the world into our community.Even before our first exchange daughter had finished her exchange we had decided to host again.  The experience had been fantastic; we became tourists in our own country, we learned about ourselves, we laughed at some miscommunications, we tried some new food (not all of it was good) and we watched as she became more confident and grew from her exchange experience.  Since then, we have hosted 3 more exchange students who have made our family even more global coming from the USA, France & Italy. This means we have tried some very interesting foods, gotten some translations wrong and very happily have a variety of family photos displayed in our home with each of them. We keep in touch with all of our “kids” once they return home and proudly have 2 in college already. Last year we even had the opportunity to visit one of our kids and meet her family which was amazing and this year we are expecting a return visit for Christmas.”
Rebekah, YFU Host Mother