Experience of a Lifetime

In 1988, I got chosen to do a student exchange in Australia. It was a year long program where I went to Cronulla, Australia for a semester at Woolooware HS with my exchange student, Rachel, and then she came to the United States for a semester with me at Lakewood HS. We spent an entire year together and got to experience each other’s cultures, high schools, families, friends, and create memories together (and apart) that would last a lifetime time.

The year I turned 50, I did a 12-hour walk, and during that time I revisited in my mind the most life altering, personality shaping, and memorable events throughout my lifetime. Being an exchange student EASILY ranks in the top 10, probably top 3, along with being a mother and my journey as a triathlete.

Over the years, I have been back to Australia once and also visited my host family when they lived in Singapore. I got to take a family vaca with them in Hawaii and my Australian “sister” was part of my mom’s wedding.

Thankfully, Facebook has kept us connected through our relocating, marriages, divorces, kids, and job changes.

I knew one day I would love to help other kids get to experience this. Well, today IS that day. I’ve just been selected as a local coordinator for Greenheart. Greenheart Exchange is a nonprofit organization that offers cultural exchange programs in the United States for people all around the world. There are a bunch of different opportunities for students, teachers, schools, businesses, etc. I will be working on finding host families for the selected students. As of now over 10 kids want to be in Colorado, but host families are needed all over the US. I get to help select the host families.

I still remember back in 1988, when the selection committee came to our house for the in-home interview. We spent all day cleaning, we made cookies for the rep who came to our house, and we were on our best behavior. I wanted this so badly and it brought my whole family together to help make this dream a reality for me. I want to be a part of that for someone else.

If you are interested in being a host family, reach out to me and i can get you started in the process. If you are from outside of the United States and want to study here, I can help with that as well. I am looking forward to helping others create the amazing memories I had as an exchange student.

Check out the Greenheart Exchange Program HERE

See you soon!