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posted: 8/18/2014 5:51 PM

Northern Illinois families welcome AFS exchange students

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AFS Intercultural Programs/USA is proud to recognize almost 20 local families who have opened their homes and community to the world by hosting AFS exchange students.

AFS-USA, a worldwide nonprofit, has been leading international high school student exchange for more than 65 years.

• The Harrington family is hosting Juliana from Argentina, who will attend Batavia High School. In Argentina, Juliana enjoys running and cooking.

• The Davison family is hosting Ardiani from Indonesia, who will attend Batavia High School. Ardiani came to the U.S. because part of the U.S. culture is reaching Indonesia, and she wanted to experience the American culture first hand.

• The Moseley family is hosting Anna from Italy, who will attend Central High School in Burlington.

• The Cagle family is hosting Diego from Chile, who will attend Crystal Lake Central High School.

• The Tikkun family is hosting Aya from the West Bank, who will attend DeKalb High School.

• The Zander family is hosting Sophie from Italy, who will attend Geneva High School.

• The Merrell family is hosting Stephanie from Canada, who will attend Geneva High School. In her home country, Stephanie is involved with volleyball and skiing.

• The Powelson family is hosting Alexis from France, who will attend Geneva High School.

• The Ahern family is hosting Fernando from Mexico, who will attend Geneva High School. In his home country, Fernando is an active basketball and soccer player.

• The Saxsma family is hosting Henning from Germany, who will attend Geneva High School. Henning hopes to improve his English and learn to be more open-minded.

• The Alcantara family is hosting Anne from Germany, who will attend Kaneland High School.

• The Van Valkenburg family is hosting Heinke from Germany, who will attend Marengo High School.

• The Guasta family is hosting Johanna from Norway, who will attend McHenry West High School. Johanna plays piano back home in Norway, and plans to play tennis at her new high school.

• The MacKay Zacker family is hosting Marisa from Spain, who will attend St. Charles North High School. Marisa said she is looking forward to new experiences and learning a new culture.

• The Jorgenson family is hosting Risa from Japan, who will attend St. Charles East High School. Risa plans to participate in cheerleading and the orchestra.

• The Rogers family is hosting Khouloud from Tunisia, who will attend Sycamore High School. Khouloud came to the U.S. to discover new things and introduce her culture to American citizens.

• The Sternberg family is hosting Valeriya from Ukraine, who will attend West Aurora High School.

• The Bartoszek family is hosting Lara from Germany, who will attend West Aurora High School.

• The Walker family is hosting Norman from the Philippines, who will attend West Aurora High School. Norman is looking forward to attending prom and homecoming.

More than 2,300 AFS exchange students arrive in the U.S. each year from more than 90 countries to be welcomed into families, high schools, and local communities. Host families provide a bed and meals, share their daily lives with students, and help guide and support students as they would their own children. Families and their hosted students receive ongoing support from AFS staff and experienced, local volunteers, and the opportunity to connect with an outstanding young person eager to learn about America. AFS is always looking for supportive families to host students like these.

Roberto Rossi, an AFS volunteer who was an exchange student from Germany about four years ago, said, "It is really interesting to see from a different viewpoint how the students adapt to the new culture and how quickly they make new friends. I wish I could do it over again."

Join our global community. Find out how to host a student, study abroad, or volunteer with AFS. Call (800) AFS-INFO or visit

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