Meet Katie and Jimmy from Gulf Shores, Alabama, who welcomed Felix from Germany into their home.
"The hosting experience has given my boys the opportunity to have a big brother, someone that's quite a bit older than them. They've learned so much from him."
How did you first hear about high school exchange?
Some friends of ours had hosted, and we saw what incredible things it had done for them as a family. At first we wondered how well an exchange student would fit into our lives. We're busy and didn't know if we'd have time for another child. But as soon as we met Felix we had no reservations at all. He instantly became one of us.
How does Felix fit in with the family?
EF does a great job matching host families and students. Felix is really easy going like us and we have a lot of the same interests. He gets involved in our everyday life, things like joining us for family dinners or helping the boys with their homework. They ride their bikes, play catch outside and read together at the end of the day.
What have your sons learned from their host brother?
My boys really like making movies and Felix has taught them different things with his camera and filming software. He's introduced them to some really neat techniques. It's amazing to see their faces light up when they're together.
What does a high school exchange year mean to you?
This year has been great because it allowed us to learn about German culture and language, but it's also allowed us to connect to our own culture in a new way. Exchange has brought us together as a family and has given my young boys and older brother.