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Council for Educational Travel, USA

CETUSA is dedicated to the mission of "reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding." We support this mission through the implementation of exchange programs for high school students - both American and international - and trainee and internship programs for university students/young professionals. This blog space is meant to continue the conversation on the value of education through experience - more specifically the experience of study abroad. There will be guest blogs here as well as announcements of resources for students, parents and teachers to learn more about study abroad and the global perspective.

Category archive for: High School Program

Student of the Week (7.25.16): Lissy from Germany!

Posted in High School Program, Host Family, and Student of the Week

Lissy from Germany

Congratulations to our Student of the Week: Lissy from Germany!

Lissy joined us in March following an emergency placement. We were apprehensive, but never hesitated. She has been an absolute joy and the thought of her leaving already is so hard. We fell in love hard with this girl and never expected to.

Some of our fondest memories of and with her will be her infectious smile and laugh. Her laughing at us trying to say words in German and our deep Southern accents throwing it off had us all collapsing into fits of giggles. Her attempt to try and use our slang was also very funny. Her genuine smile when something made her happy or when she was playing with the little ones around here (we have 4 grandkids that live nearby and they adore her). She is constantly telling us that she is taking the baby home with her! Her witty, smart alecky comebacks when my husband or my kids throw some wise crack out to her really made her a hit with our family and she became one of us very quickly! The last day of school, she got in my car and we sat there and hugged while she cried, we stayed there as long as she felt she needed to in order to come to grips with the fact that this was it. We both cried and my heart just broke for her.

For my birthday, the day before hers, she and my husband planned a surprise birthday party for me, it was amazing! She was so happy and she just glowed when she saw that she pulled it off. She gave me a framed picture of her with different poses and even included 2 of the grandkids that are here daily with her because I babysit them. That was the best present I have ever received! Later that afternoon, we shocked her by throwing a surprise party for her and one of our other grandsons, whose birthday is 3 days before hers. That was not something she expected at all. I loved seeing her eyes light up and the happy tears swimming in those big, beautiful blue eyes of hers.

Lissy: I liked everything, it is so hard to choose just a few: it felt like I was living what I saw in the movies…the school spirit, the students dancing, prom, sports games, the half time show at football games.

Growing Our Family One Country at a Time!

Posted in CETUSA News, High School Program, and Host Family

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Hosting kids from around the world has changed our family as well as each family member. I tell other families thinking about hosting how my kids are different than their friends in regards to how they accept others and their opinions. I think having someone from another country, culture, way of life become part of our family for 10 months taught them that. The more times we hosted the more we learned to adapt and accept them for who you they are.

We have also gained a greater appreciation for the area we live in as we were able to see it through their eyes. Each one saw and loved different things about our neighborhood, region and state.

It has been the most exciting and enriching experience. We now have family that extends across the globe. We love it!!!

– Jennifer Eames – Riverton, Utah

Student of the Week (7.04.16): Chan from South Korea!

Posted in CETUSA News, High School Program, and Student of the Week

Chan from South Korea (7.4.16)

Congratulations to our Student of the Week: Chan from South Korea!

Our experience with Chan has been so amazing. This is our first year hosting and Chan has totally captured our hearts. He is an excellent kid who goes far in everything he does. He has received many awards, such as perfect attendance, and scholar athlete. I believe he is a perfect example of everything CETUSA stands for. We will miss him and look forward to keeping in touch with him.

Chan says his favorite experience in America was the surprise birthday party we threw for him. Around 60 people showed up to surprise and celebrate with him. It took him 30 minutes to come out of shock!

He was most surprised by how Americans talk to strangers. He laughed and said he is probably going to go back home and talk to all of the strangers. He also said that Art class has been his favorite, and he hopes to study something in the line of Art at a University. He has already had people offering to buy his art!

Student of the Week (6.27.16): Wuwei from China!

Posted in CETUSA News, High School Program, and Student of the Week

Wuwei from China

Congratulations to our Student of the Week:  Wuwei from China!

We had such a blast with Wuwei and made so many precious memories.  Not for one second did he feel like a stranger.  I never wished he would leave or say “I can’t wait until he goes home” – he was home. Wuwei told us that in China, it is not normal to say “I love you” to your family, and he said he was excited to take that habit home with him.

He was so kind and funny, the best natured kid I’ve ever met.  He found such a friend and role model in my husband.  They went to work out together every single night, and Wuwei would sit in the living room, waiting for him.

I was very sick while he was here, and he took the best care of me.  There are so many stories, laughs, and memories that I could never, ever put a price on. He is truly 1 in 1.4 billion.

Student of the Week (6.20.16): Ian from South Korea!

Posted in CETUSA News, High School Program, and Student of the Week

Ian from South Korea

Congratulations to our Student of the Week, Ian from South Korea!

Ian is such a huge asset to our family. Having three young children in the home can be challenging for teens, but Ian has been amazing with each of them. He plays and reads and laughs with them. He does anything that we ever ask of him, including being the only teen willing to dress up in a dog suit and play with the kids at our church Easter Egg Hunt. He has always put family first, choosing to make family time a priority over friends. Having him here with us has improved our quality of life and I can only hope that he has enjoyed his time here with us as much as we have enjoyed our time with him. He played soccer and basketball this year, and watching him has been so much fun. He is just the greatest!

Ian says his favorite memory from his time here was when they went on a cruise because he had never been on one before.