Love Doesn’t Stop at the Borders

Have you ever had that feeling that something was missing from your life? Or, do you have a little extra time on your hands each day, and you don’t know what to do with it?  Maybe you are like me and think ‘If only my spare room had a purpose.’ If any of these statements ring true for you, then I think you need an exchange student, or two!

I feel like a career host mom who can’t turn away a student in need of a home.  I am currently hosting two students, Anri from Japan and Vivian from Germany. They couldn't’t be more different from each other and from my own kids, but we live in perfect harmony.  And for that, I am thankful, especially for their parents.  Every day I think about calling Anri’s parents to thank them for raising someone so respectful, helpful and happy, but unfortunately, I don’t speak Japanese.  Vivian is independent, free, and fun.  Her mother has done an excellent job instilling confidence in her and teaching her the importance of building and maintaining good relationships.

However, what I really want to share is this: These students are helping me just as much as I am helping them.  I’ve got a car full of kids singing, laughing, sleeping, snap chatting, and speaking with enthusiasm about their day.  I’ve got a house full of athletes (which I love) who put in 100% effort at practices and games while managing homework and good grades.  My daughter has what she’s always wanted, a sister – make that a sorority! I get to be their forever host mom and hopefully leave them with a positive experience of what it’s like to be a mom in America who has a career, opens her home to others, and has fun.

I have four kids. I spend more on groceries, and I go to a lot of games, but this is us!  My husband and my son were reluctant to take in two students.  After all, living with four girls can sound a little frightening.  As predicted, we are now a happy family of 6.  My son always has someone to watch a movie with or play basketball with, and my husband gets to hear all of the crazy teen stories when he picks up the girls from school.  I don’t know if it was fate, or if my Local Coordinator is just good at finding me the best students, but it all happened to teach me a lesson about enjoying the little things and enjoying people. I definitely came out the winner. I recommend taking the leap and hosting an exchange student. In return, you may find your peace, love, and joy.

About Education, Travel & Culture: 

Education Travel & Culture is a non-profit [501(c)(3)] educational exchange organization. Its purpose is to promote international understanding and goodwill by providing high quality educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States and abroad. ETC provides inbound program opportunities for high school students throughout the world to study in an American high school and live with an American family. The ETC also organizes trips for exchange students to visit such destinations as The Grand Canyon, San Francisco, New York City and Hawaii. 

For more information, FAQs or to apply to become a host family visit or email Field Director, Brenda Ferland at





Student and International Education Grants


Grants and In-Kind Services to USA and Territories Colleges to Support Students in Developing Technology-Based Solutions

Grants of $5,000 and grants of $20,000 and in-kind services to USA and Territories colleges and universities to help students develop technology-based solutions to important problems in the world. Funds, training, immersive workshops, and specialized coaching are provided to student STEM innovators and entrepreneurs to help them move their inventions into the marketplace.

Deadline: 02/07/18 11:59 PM ET

Scholarship to a USA, Canada, or International High School or College Graduate with Autism to Reduce Educational Expenses

Scholarship of $5,000 to a USA, Canada, or International high school or college graduate with autism to help reduce the cost of education. Funding is intended to nurture the next generation of students with autism. 

Deadline: 12/31/17

Thank you Becky Z. and the Education, Culture & Travel Nonprofit for your inspiring guest post. 

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About the Author: Becky Z. is a career host mom living in AZ who can’t turn away a student in need of a home. She is currently hosting two exchange students, Anri from Japan and Vivian from Germany.


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Awards to USA Schools for Creative Use of Cartons in a Gardening Project

Deadline: 04/12/17

Awards to USA PreK-12 public, private and charter schools for creative use of milk and juice cartons to build or improve their school garden. Potential applicants are invited to participate in the Carton 2 Garden webinar on January 11, 2017. Car…GrantWatch ID#: 178027

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Contest for USA Animal Welfare Organizations for Events that Raise Awareness of Homeless Horses

Deadline: 04/01/17

Contest to win up to $25,000 for USA equine rescues and sanctuaries that hold community events between April 21-26, 2017. A webinar will be held January 31, 2017. The events can be geared toward education, training, or family-friendly fun, and are i…GrantWatch ID#: 177925

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Grants to USA and Territories Agencies and Nonprofits for Research on Public Health and Well-Being

Deadline: 06/16/17

Grants to USA and territories agencies and nonprofits to conduct research on public and private-sector policies that affect community health, well-being, and equity. A brief proposal is due March 10, 2017, and an informational webinar will be held o…GrantWatch ID#: 179185

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Academic Enrichment and Scholarship Program for USA High-Performing Middle School Students

Deadline: 04/05/17

Academic guidance program and a potential college scholarship of up to $40,000 per year to USA and territories high-performing middle school students who demonstrate financial need to achieve their academic potential. An information session is sched…GrantWatch ID#: 180069

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