Posted Online: May 09, 2013, 10:52 am

Moline families can make a difference, learn Chinese culture

Comment on this story

Press release submitted by Academic Year in America


STAMFORD, CT – May 9, 2013 – Academic Year in America (AYA) is currently looking for Moline area families to play host to China.

This year, AYA is bringing highly qualified Chinese high school students to the U.S. to learn about American culture while living with volunteer host families and studying at high schools across the nation. Moline area families have the unique opportunity to learn about the Chinese culture during this mutually rewarding exchange.

While Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world, it is just now starting to make inroads in U.S. schools. Many schools are unable to meet the growing demand for Mandarin Chinese, prompting parents to pursue other venues for this exposure.

With many students available, AYA can help families find the ideal student for their home. The result is an enriching, lifelong relationship with a young person from abroad. In addition, for families looking to learn more about the Chinese culture or language, hosting a student is a fantastic way to experience China without leaving home.

"Meng Chen has been a joy since the first day she arrived in the United States," explains Sue Patrick, a host mother from Virginia with a Chinese student. "She is a positive, happy, vivacious young lady who lights up a room when she walks in. Both she and my family have relished the opportunity to learn all of our different customs and cultures."

Students are ages 15 to 18 and arrive with full medical insurance, spending money, and the hopes of experiencing life in America through the eyes of a caring host family. The students stay with their host for five or 10 months and attend the local high school.

"Just as there is no typical American family, there is no typical host family," states French. "Retirees, single parents and young couples are all able to give an international student a good home. Some host families may not even have children of their own. Bringing a Chinese student into your home can mean giving the gift of culture to yourself, your family, your community – whomever would benefit from exposure to a new culture."

To learn more about hosting a Chinese exchange student with AYA, call Danielle at (800) 322-4678, ext. 5164 or e-mail aya.info@aifs.org. Visit AYA on the web at www.academicyear.org.