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Host Families Needed for Students from Spain

A three- or four-week commitment could change your family and broaden your horizons to experience a new culture.

If you've ever considered hosting a foreign exchange student but don't want a long-term commitment, this may be the opportunity for you.

Organizers of Share America International Exchange, a program that places International students into Chicago suburb families for three weeks, are gearing up for the school year. In September 18 high school students from Spain will come to Grayslake and the surrounding communities to experience American Culture.

The students will go to high school with their host students, and families are encouraged to treat them as members of their families.

Share America will also coordinate group outings for the students to shop and explore tourist attractions.

"This is such a great opportunity for families," said Laura Krapohl, the Grayslakecoordinator for Share America. "It just opens up the student's eyes to different cultures and different ways of doing things. Our country is a bit isolated to experience other cultures and this is great exposure to that."

Host families are still needed for the Share America program for students who arrive in September. For more information, or to attend the orientation meeting August 14 at Vernon Hills High School, contact Grayslake's coordinator Laura Krapohl at laurakrapohl@yahoo.com.

An Immediate Need

Meantime there is an immediate need for a host family for a student not part of the Share America program.

"So many of the organizations overseas know about us [Share America], so when they have someone who is not part of their program who wants to come to the United States, they always contact us," said Krapohl.

Lourdes is an 18-year-old who is from Malaga, Spain, but currently lives in Madrid where she is studying to be a chiropractor. Lourdes is coming to the United States at the end of August for a four-week stay.

Since this is a full immersion program, rather than the Share America program, there would be no planned outings, Krapohl said.  Lourdes would spend the four weeks with your family, doing what you do.

Krapohl said it would be ideal if the host family had a high school student  or even a college student living at home would be the best scenario as to give Lourdes a taste of both high school and college life in America.

Lourdes loves animals and has a small dog, but is allergic to rabbits. She plays basketball and snow-skiing and enjoys the typical teenage pasttimes of shopping, movies and hanging out with friends.

If you're interested in hosting Lourdes, or to find out more about the Share America program, contact Laura Krapohl at laurakrapohl@yahoo.com.

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