NWS PEACE Program and the Department of State is seeking local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries around the world for about five to 12 months.

This sounds like a totally cool way to get a little exotic culture here in the Midwest.  I did the study abroad program, but in college instead.  My experience was great and the people were very nice to me.  I did feel a bit lost, and it might have been helpful to have someone there to go to.  When these kids arrive here, they’ll be set up with local families who will help them settle in.  They’ve got their own insurance, pocket money, etc.  All they’d need is a good home base so they can really see what Midwestern life is like.

When I went abroad, I went to the University of Central Lanchshire for a year.  I didn’t come home for any holidays (planes are expensive).  I was there from September ’98 to May of ’99.  When I got to the airport, I didn’t know anything but the basics.  I even had the wrong papers and had put the important immigration stuff in my luggage instead of my carry-on.

I had to make my own way from the Manchester Airport to Preston, which was a good 45 minutes away.  I had to depend on my wits, so to speak.  It was very strange to be without a car, and have to walk everywhere to get to the store or what have you.  I was 19 when I went over there, so just imagine what these youngins will be experiencing.

That’s why they need your help.  These kids are the best and the brightest, the most ambitious ones looking for a new point of view.  They’re coming from all around the world and they want the “real” American experience.  That’s why they come to little towns like ours; they’re more likely to experience what real everyday American life is like.

So if you can help, think about it.  Your family can really get to know someone from a completely different culture, and it’ll be enriching for you and the student.  You’ll see Sedalia the way you never thought you could; through the eyes of someone who is experiencing it all for the first time.

Students come to practice their English and experience American culture.  They will also share their own culture with host families. There's no such thing as a typical host family. Whether you're a single parent, retired, have small kids, teens or no kids, you can definitely help an ambitious international teen get a great educational experience. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving both students and families a rich, cultural experience.

In addition, students have pocket money for personal expenses; and full health, accident and liability insurance. You can even make a claim on your income taxes by hosting them!  To become a host family or find out how to become involved, please call the NWS PEACE Program at 1-866-846-3977 or go to www.nw-services.com.

Internationally yours,