One of the things that makes Socrates Academy unique is our families. When we asked Socrates student, Clare Jackson and her Mother, Melissa about their family they shared their experiences living with exchange students with us.
SA: What is unique about your family?
Clare: My family fosters young children and have adopted my little sister. We always welcome people into our home and we seem to have a stream of new people all the time. My mom supervises the exchange students, so there are always teenagers in our home. My mom helps them with any problems they have and plans activities for them.
SA: How long has your family been working with exchange students?
Melissa (Mom): I have been a local coordinator for 4 years and have supervised over 50 students from 15 different countries. It has broadened my families worldview in so many ways!
SA: Where are the students you have hosted from?
Clare: Our family has hosted two students, Sanna from Germany and this year Ruby from Kuwait. Students can stay for 1 semester (5 months), or the full academic year (10 months)
SA: What is something you have learned when hosting students?
Clare: I have learned all about their cultures and their food. I learned how to cook schnitzel when our student’s mom came to visit from Germany. I have also learned new words from different languages and about different religions. When Ruby came to visit she brought us dresses that are traditionally worn during Ramadan, a Muslim holiday.
SA: How does Socrates Academy, help prepare you for this multi-cultural experience?
Clare: Socrates has helped me understand not to be fearful about other cultures and that it fun to learn how people in other parts of the world think and do things. I am able to show our exchange students some of my favorite parts of the Greek culture and we even made the students loukoumades!
SA: If other families are interested in hosting an exchange student how can they get more information?
There are two families hosting students this year at Socrates and we would love for more families to experience another culture at home! Families interested in learning more about hosting* can email Melissa Jackson at email@example.com. Students can be placed in any local public high school, both CMS and UCPS.
*Academic Year in America is a 35 year-old non-profit organization that brings 600 students to the US each year from many different countries. Students are 15-18 years old and study at the local high school families are zoned for. Students come with a desire to learn about American culture, attend high school and improve their English skills.