Meet Janice and Kevin from Canton, Michigan, who welcomed Hilly from Sweden into their home.
"At some point you realize that your host family chose to do this, to let you inside their world. You just have this connection where you feel so comfortable around them."
Why did you decide to host an exchange student?
My father was in the military and my family lived overseas when I was born, so growing up I loved to make friends from all over the world. Being a host family is my way of helping the brave students who want to explore a new culture. I love to share what makes me proud to be an American while giving my community a chance to learn about other parts of the globe.
What's it like for Hilly to be in the local public school?
Hilly is a great student and a great representative of Sweden. I received a letter from one of her teachers personally thanking me for hosting her. The teacher said that having Hilly in her class was helpful for the other students and provided a unique, global perspective.
What parts of American culture have you shared with Hilly?
We like to go to the thrift store to discover book gems and catch arthouse movies at the local theatre. It's been amazing to show her all the Michigan has to offer - the local parks where you can go fishing, boating and hiking, and the urban areas where you can see concerts and sports games.
What parts of Swedish culture has Hilly shared with you?
Hilly loves to cook. Her parents sent me a Swedish cookbook and we went to different stores to get the ingredients for muesli - we even special ordered rye flakes! I love watching her translate her metric recipes. It sounds dilly, but she has truly changed me. Now I am making more of my meals from scratch!