On Saturday morning, IELC participants traveled to Washington, D.C. to round off their American experience. With this departure came the fact that host families had to say goodbye to their international guests. While there were certainly some tears shed as final hugs were shared, all of the students laughed and reminisced about the wonderful experiences they had with their host families, including Aditya A. from India:

“I loved everybody, especially Mrs. Woods, my host mother. The first time that I met her, she asked me what everybody called me and I said ‘anything’ so they started calling me ‘anything.'”

– Aditya A. (India)

Through the hosting experience, Collegiate students have the unique opportunity to spend a week learning about similarities and differences inherent between different cultures. One host reflected on her week spent with an Italian student:

“This is the second year I have hosted! It’s so fun to keep in touch throughout the year! We talked a lot about food…it was very fun to compare our lives at home and we would talk hours about them.” – Eleanor D. (USA)

Another host touched on her time forging a new, lasting relationship across cultures with her student from Lebanon:

“The most fascinating part about hosting [my student] this week for me was finding a best friend who lives halfway across the world and has a completely different life, yet we’re so incredibly alike.” – Sonja K. (USA)

Without the incredible generosity from the host families, a key piece of IELC would be missing. Thank you for opening up your homes, hosts!

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