The Lawrence Family
Have you ever considered opening your home and family to an international student? Right here in Wilmington, several educational exchange organizations are hard at work promoting international understanding and goodwill by searching for host families. Students come to the Port City from across the globe in hopes of experiencing the uniqueness and diversity of American life. In order to do so, they need local families who are eager to open their homes and hearts, gain a new family member and friend, and in doing so acquire a significant understanding of the values and attitudes of foreign cultures.
There are so many benefits to hosting an international student. For starters, families can teach their children about cultural diversity and compassion for differences. Without having to travel, parents can bring global local by inviting the world right into their child’s home. The lifelong friendships that are crafted during the hosting experience stretch far into the future, giving Wilmington families the opportunity to form wonderful connections that span across the globe. These relationships can last a lifetime. Younger children in the home get to experience what it’s like to have an older sibling to look up to, and only children get the chance to know what it’s like to have a sibling.
For parents, benefits include getting the chance to look at our culture through another’s eyes, as well as the ability to reflect on one’s own values and family traditions. Host parents also get a small insight into what it’s like to have a teenager at home, which can serve as a great starting point for evaluating and reflecting on their own parenting techniques. Hosting provides a motivation for families to explore more of the community and of North Carolina with their international students. Having someone else living in the household can help bring families closer and pushes them to try new things and experiences. In addition, it creates a unique community here in the area, as families get the opportunity to meet and form bonds with other host families through the various local programs.
And what about the international students themselves? These students are motivated young adults who are coming to Wilmington with a desire to immerse themselves in American culture, perfect their English language proficiency, improve their academic competence, and open up doors in their future. By hosting, families are giving these visiting students the opportunity to experience American life in a loving, nurturing environment by mentoring them and taking them in as their own.
The Lawrence’s are a local family currently hosting a young woman from China. When asked about their experience so far, they said they’ve been having so much fun:
Our student, Anna, has become part of our family, and our one-year-old daughter is already attached to her like a sister. Anna is disciplined and respectful and willing to tag along wherever we go as a family. We've enjoyed many interesting conversations about life, family, school, religion, and so many others things. We love learning all about her home in China! Anna has even taught us how to cook some Chinese food. Overall hosting an International student has been a great experience and we're looking forward to hosting again next year!
For more information about hosting a student at one of our four area public high schools, please visit http://edutrav.org/index.php/host-a-student/
For more information about hosting a student at Cape Fear Academy, please visit