The question is often asked, is there a chance to impact the world in Lincoln County? One of the ways to accomplish that is through the student exchange program.
Every year, exchange students from all over the world come to Lincoln County for an entire school year to experience life in small-town Nevada. Lincoln County is in search of families willing to host these young individuals for the school year. Stephanie Thornock, host organizer, said this is the perfect time to step up to make an impact. School is starting soon, and host families are needed now. This year, students who need hosts hail from Brazil, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Thornock says, “By hosting an exchange student from another part of the world, you promote friendship, understanding and cooperation in your home and community. These exchanges allow us to better understand our differences and appreciate our similarities. Six reasons to host are promoting world peace, you’ll see your town in a new light, you’ll make new friends, you celebrate your cultural differences, you get a fresh perspective on daily life and you’ll learn about another culture.”
The Anderson family has experienced this firsthand. Over the years, Bart and Mindy Anderson have hosted students from the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany. Mindy says, “We have loved the experiences. We are getting another one this year, and we can’t wait! We really do enjoy it.”
When asked what makes this program so special, she adds, “We love learning about their cultures and family life. We only have boys in the house now, and they are used to having older sisters. So, this is like having a built-in sister. The rewards far outweigh the responsibility or pressure. We find our family is on our best behavior with a guest in the house. They seem to create an atmosphere of kindness in our home.”
The Andersons like the fact that they can read exchange students’ profiles in the selection process and learn about their background and family life, as well as communicate with students by letter, beforehand. Host families are supported throughout the process from selection to when the students return to their home country. “We never feel stuck. If a problem arises, Stephanie is right there to support us in any way. If you are thinking about it, just do it.” Mindy urges.