September 17, 2021

SMH

Santa Maria History

CASEY: Exchange method seeks ‘host’ family members for international pupils | Training

Regretably, COVID-19 has manufactured it far more challenging to connect with possible people, Cathcart explained. Which is mainly because several regular avenues — these as PTA meetings, school athletics events and local community festivals — have been shut down for the previous 12 months.

“It truly is been demanding,” Cathcart stated. “This is an uncommon time for every person.”

As an alternative, she’s been carrying out some host-loved ones prospecting on-line, and that’s how she discovered Michael and Meilii Halfmann, who moved below from Tucson, Arizona, three several years in the past. Each are teachers — Michael retired soon after 25 a long time, though Meilii operates at John P. Fishwick Middle University.

In Tucson, again when their (now grownup) son and daughter had been college-age, the Halfmanns hosted six unique trade college students. Even though that was decades in the past, Michael Halfmann can nevertheless reel off the kids’ initially names. He did that for me more than the phone.

The Halfmanns foresee web hosting a feminine exchange student from Germany this upcoming drop. The pair by now are creating a listing of locations they intend to get her — this sort of as Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

They also intend to just take her on neighborhood jaunts, such as to Mabry Mill, the most photographed spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of the plans of the software is cultural exchange, Cathcart stated. When men and women from different nations get to know each and every other on a private amount, it lessens generalized anxiety, suspicion and distrust. And that has prolonged-expression worldwide advantages.