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  1. Building Strong Ties Through Friendship

    A “teacher at heart,” John Balsam has long been interested in hosting international visitors. Sharing his experiences with them and learning from them, he says, has given him a new perspective on the United States and the challenges it faces.

  2. From Professional Fellow to Lifelong Friend

    Leslie Jensen, Vice President and Commercial Banker at First Interstate Bank, has always been interested in learning more about people and places outside of the United States. After hearing about the Professional Fellows Economic Empowerment Program, she felt a strong connection to the goals of the program and decided to host a participant from Burma.

  3. Hosting; The Most Rewarding Experience!

    Lisa Petersen, a private registered nurse, has hosted many Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) students from Eurasia. She found it fascinating how different cultures share so many similarities differently well as so many differences.

  4. YES Student “Another Son” to Indiana Host Family

    "He called me ‘Mom,’ and now when we talk on the phone every Sunday he calls me ‘Mom 2’."

  5. Iowa Host Family All-Stars Form Lifelong Bonds

    “You’re making a huge impact on someone’s life, and it doesn’t end when they leave to go back home.”

  6. Host Family Loves to Share Their Alabama Home

    Leigh Ann Parker never thought her daughter’s friendship with a Norwegian exchange student would lead to her family hosting teenagers from seven different countries.

  7. Home Host Exceeds Expectations as a Citizen Diplomat

    Over the past 11 years, International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participants from all around the world have walked through Anita Bevan’s front doors. Anita lives by a quote displayed in her Reno, Nevada home, “May all who enter as guests leave as friends.”

  8. Hosting Exchanges for 30 Years, and Still Learning

    "My hope is to remain involved with the IVLP program until I can no longer do so, as it has – and continues to be – an extraordinary gift in my life.”

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