By CCI Greenheart High School Programs Staff

For one family in Texas, this past fall was the perfect time to waltz into a dream they had always had: to host a student. The stars had aligned and mom, Susan, and youngest daughter, Bridget, picked their student and waited for the fun to begin.

Susan shares her family’s hosting experience with Gyorgy, from Hungary:

“I am a single mom with two daughters. My oldest is 24 and starting her own family 1500 miles away. My youngest is Bridget, who will be 18 next month and a senior in high school. Last July 30, a local news station did a story about foreign exchange students and I knew I had to look into it. I had always wanted to host but was worried about the demands of another teenager in the house. I felt like if we were going to, it needed to be now while I still had Bridget at home. Lindy (her family’s Local Coordinator) assured me that a two parent family wasn’t a requirement and that if I could provide a bed and 3 meals a day, we would be fine.

Fast forward to today, I don’t know why I waited so long! Gyorgy is an amazing young man that has brought so much to our lives. He has become the brother Bridget never had.

She has learned that just because someone is from another part of the world doesn’t make them all that different. We selected Gyorgy in part due to his interest in dance. Bridget dances too, so we knew that would be something they would have in common. My mother teaches at a local private school and every year they host a fun filled dinner and dance competition, “Dancing with the Amarillo Stars”. Since Gyorgy is a ballroom dance competitor in Hungary, he participated and was amazing!

He has made so many of his own friends and only about a month after his arrival, we were doing some grocery shopping and out of the blue a teenage girl walked by and said “Hi Gyorgy”. I knew at that moment he was adjusting just fine. As a family, we have attended a Texas Tech football game in Lubbock, Tx. Amarillo High school football and soccer games, homecoming, and several parades including a Veterans Day parade honoring our military. Which for me, brought out a deep sense of honor and pride in Amarillo, Texas and the United States of America.

Having made the decision to host a student has changed mine and my daughters’ life forever. Gyorgy is appreciative everyday that we selected him and I often tell him he is one of the best decisions I ever made.

My heart will break when he goes home to Hungary, but I won’t regret a second of the year we shared. We plan on staying in contact indefinitely.”