Meet Jesse and Wade from Phoenix, Arizona, who welcomed Pierluigi from Italy and Livio from Switzerland into their home.
"This year I grew more mature and independent as a person. I can thank my host family and host brother for that. They provided me with endless love and support."
What's it like hosting two exchange students at once?
When you host two students, it's wonderful because they have each other. They're connected from the beginning and they're going through the same experiences together. As a family we've been fortunate to learn about two new cultures - we are all more alike than we are different.
What kind of things did you do as a family?
It's the little things that mean the most - family dinners, walks outside, movie nights. Wade and I are big travelers so we try to go on small trips as well. Even though we've been to the Grand Canyon a million times, I loved watching Pierluigi and Livio experience it. I got to see it through their eyes and it was like seeing it again for the first time.
How were the holidays?
It's so special to share our traditions with the students. Christmas this year was particularly spectacular. Livio's from Switzerland so he's always had a white Christmas. Having one in the desert where it's still nice and warm was a treat for him! Wade's family came from Portland and the boys felt right at home.
What's it like to say goodbye at the end of the year?
Saying goodbye is the hardest point. When I talk to them, I know that we made a difference in their lives. When I talk to their parents and they notice a difference too, it makes saying goodbye a little bit easier. I think to myself - how lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Want to hear more real stories from our host families? Check them out here.