Another school year, another student! At the beginning of summer, I shared about hosting my first foreign exchange student and I mentioned that our reasons for choosing to host were:
To give an invaluable opportunity to a high school student; to bring another culture into our home; and to teach our kids to welcome, love, and accept someone who looks different, thinks different, sounds different, believes different than we do. All while helping to bridge the gap between our country and others.
We found it to be such an enriching experience for our family that we decided to do it again! This time, we let our 8-year-old son help us with the selection process. First, I asked him if he wanted to host a girl or a boy this time. He smiled and said, “Boy”. So, from there we read applications and letters-to-the-family, together. When we had our favorites narrowed down to two boys, I desperately wanted to host BOTH, but my husband used logic against me — So we had to pick ONE. It was truly a tough choice, but after much discussion, we chose Eric, from Germany.
Eric doesn’t exactly “look different”. In fact, if I had my first kid when I was 20 years old, I’m pretty sure this is what that kid would look like. But he does bring a different culture into our home along with a strong German accent. And he loves to play board games, which makes my husband and oldest son very happy!
I didn’t want to risk waiting until the very last day before doing a formal photo session like my last student. The High School allows all Exchange Students to participate in Senior activities, like Prom and Graduation, in order to give them the full American experience. As a photographer, I can’t help but believe Senior Portraits should also be included as part of that experience! So, the weekend before Eric’s first day of American High School, we made time for a Senior portrait session. I absolutely love that he wanted to wear his suit for the photos! He looks so nice! And contrary to his very serious persona in these photos, he actually laughs and jokes around a lot! He’s a really fun kid to have around!