NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — For the fifth straight year, a group of German exchange students from the Lessing Schule in Bochum, Germany, are seeking to stay with host families in Northborough and Southborough so they can attend Algonquin Regional High School for three weeks in October.
The students will come with spending money and full insurance. A local coordinator and two German teachers, who also need host homes, will oversee the program as the students learn about American life.
According to organizers, host families receive a global friend, a great experience, 30 hours of community service and a food stipend, if necessary.
Southborough resident Lynne Guilford said her family hosted Robert, an 18-year-old German student, two years ago. "It was the best experience that we could ever have hoped for," she said. Though originally worried about hosting a boy in a house with two teenage daughters, Guilford said she quickly got over her fear. "They got along just like brother and sister."
While admitting that not everyone has had an experience as positive as her's, Guilford encouraged families who are considering hosting a student to make the decision together, keep an open mind and "do it for the right reasons."
"They want to learn," she said. "[Robert] was very interested in learning about our schools, how we live and what we do." She said it was quite a shock, for example, when he found out how much Americans pay to go to college.