Our family has had the pleasure of hosting many international students over the years. We have enjoyed every minute of it! We have learned so much from each and every one of them!
In the fall of 2011 we were matched with Rocio. For our first family get together we invited her to our home to watch a football game. As you might imagine, we didn't really watch that much football! Rocio was so interesting and fun to visit with that we just talked with her the whole time. She is so smart, polite, and very funny! Rocio was born in Mexico City where she earned her undergraduate degree. Rocio came to UW-River Falls to obtain her MBA after working in Guatemala for a number of years.
A week or two after our first visit, Rocio came to our home for dinner. I made her favorite - Italian! We asked her way too many questions about her culture, traditions, and family. She is so pleasant and patient with us. Rocio is very proud of her family - she is really close to them. When she talks about them it is with so much pride. Rocio is well organized, loves to learn about American culture and is able to make friends very easily!
Last January, we decided to add to our family by offering to host another international student! Our second host student is from Brazil and his name is Esteban. Esteban is such a nice young man! Soon after we met, we invited Esteban and Rocio to our home for a family dinner. I'm sure Esteban got tired of us asking questions about his family, culture, and life in Brazil. He is so patient with us - just like Rocio! Esteban loves the outdoors - camping, hiking, biking - he'll do it all! He shared stories about some of the biking and camping trips he's taken - he's quite adventurous. Esteban was so comfortable with us from the very start, as we were with him. He knows what he wants in life and we're sure he will achieve it!
In August, we asked if there were any other students who need a host family and we added one more international student to our family! We have the pleasure of hosting Frank too! Frank is from China and has been in the US for just a few months. As with Rocio and Esteban, we ask Frank a lot of questions about his culture, traditions, and family. We just love learning about our students! Frank is a very nice young man and we look forward to getting to know him better!
We have done many activities with our host students including concerts, trips to the Twin Cities, the St. Paul Winter Carnival, dinners at our home, family celebrations/holidays, and much more! Sometimes we don't do anything - we just talk and share many laughs together! We look forward to spending time with each of our students!
The Host Family Program is so rewarding for the families but it's not all about us. It's about the students - that they have a place to go and people they can call their family and friends. We know our lives are better having known the and we hope they can say the same! Everyone should experience this very rewarding program! We love our kids!
Dan, Cyndy, and Daniel Bennis