Host parent encourages others to host exchange studentsFifteen times a host parent, Osakis resident Marilyne Morisette looks forward to the arrival of her 16th international student this fall. "It's so nice to have someone in the home who has a different culture, to share life with them," she said.
Fifteen times a host parent, Osakis resident Marilyne Morisette looks forward to the arrival of her 16th international student this fall. "It's so nice to have someone in the home who has a different culture, to share life with them," she said.
Morisette loves the international students so much that after her first year of hosting, she signed up as the local exchange coordinator. "I think it's important to be involved with international exchange students to give them the opportunity," she explains. "We're making their dreams come true by letting them come and understand the culture of the U.S."
Working together with Aspect Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to excellence in student exchange, Morisette will help match many of those students to local families around Douglas County. Aspect brings students from nearly 30 countries to attend local schools and experience life in towns across the U.S. for a semester or a full academic year.
The students, who will arrive in August, are ages 15 to 18 and have a wide variety of interests and abilities. They are chosen on the basis of maturity, grades and language skills.
Over the years, Morisette has stayed in touch with many of her past students and has even visited a few of them. "It's amazing to go to their home countries and see how they live with their family. And to see how grateful their families are."
Host families must be willing and able to provide room, board and a loving home environment for students.
For more information about the Aspect Foundation or how to host an international student, contact Marilyn Morisette at (320) 859-4696, the Aspect Foundation national office at 1-800-US-YOUTH or visit aspectfoundation.org to view profiles of available students.