Pjotr Bijsterbosch, from the Netherlands returned to Winfield with his family to visit his American Host Family, the Wilsey’s; Kevin, Nanette, Katrina and Trevor. In 2011-12 Pjotr took part in the Ayusa exchange student program and came to Winfield to spend an academic year in America. His goal was to learn about the American culture and improve his English skills for his future career. What he didn’t expect was to be welcomed with opened arms and hearts of Winfield. Immediately he became a loved member of the Wilsey family and a member of the community. He took part in many of the activities at the school beginning with sports.
Nanette explained “When asked by the Ayusa exchange student program to be a Host Family we thought about it for a while. They explained that the student would need a room, three meals a day and transportation to and from school. We decided it would be a good experience for our family. We could learn about another culture while staying in our own home; to see the world through someone else eyes. What we didn’t expect was for Pjotr to quickly become a member of our family and that not only was it a great experience Pjotr, and our family but also for the students and parents of Winfield High. Winfield learned of his culture as he learned ours. Thanks to Pjotr our home and hearts have been opened for more exchange students to come.” In 2012-13 Stefan from Switzerland also became a member of our family. Stefan only stayed a semester but he too touched our hearts while learning of our culture as we learned of his. I found that things we take for granted are things that exchange students find interesting, for instance to see fireflies for the first time or hear tree frogs. It helps you to see things differently than you did before; it not only opens their eyes but also yours. Will we host a student again? Yes! Would I recommend it to others? Yes!!”
If you are interested in becoming a Host Family or would just like more information about the program contact Ayusa (a nonprofit exchange student program) at 1-888-552-9872, or visit ayusa.org or contact email@example.com.