our international friendship team
host family coordinators
At International Friendship, our local Host Family Coordinators are at the heart of program. Our coordinators are excited to share the opportunity of lifelong international friendships with their community. Our host family coordinators are bringing the world into to home of their friends and families. With the ongoing support of a local coordinator, every family and student has a complete circle of support.
Our monitors are a very special part of each student’s journey here at International Friendship. Each student is matched with a monitor for guidance and support. Monitors support each student and the student’s family during pre-trip preparations, international travel days, and in being a mentor and friend during the students 4 week International Friendship experience. Monitors work directly with lead coordinators in completing our valued circle of support for each student and host family.
Growing up, my family hosted people from all over the world. I absolutely loved getting to know each guest while learning about their lives, cultures, hopes, and dreams. It made a positive impact on my childhood as I cherished each international friendship and experience.
I also had the privelege of travel & study abroad opportunities to several Spanish speaking countries while in High School & university. I discovered that these experiences were the key to a whole new world of possibilities, opportunities, friendships, learning and beyond.
Upon graduating college, I moved to Spain where I taught English for 12 years. In 2004, my students asked me to create a travel program for them in USA in summer. With my passion for international family experiences, both as a student & as a host family, International Friendship was born.
My mission is to create positive, enriching and educational experiences for students and host families while building lasting international friendships!
It is a true honor for me to get to know all of you. I am forever grateful for your
family’s time, care, friendship, and cheer. I greatly look forward to each year’s experience being a safe, healthy, happy, enriching experience for all families and students.
Thank you for joining our International Friendship Family Journey!
Local Host Family Coordinators
I’m a local International Friendship Host Family Coordinator for Wisconsin. I enjoy everything about this program! What an amazing opportunity to be apart of such a wonderful and growing company that strives for enriching international friendship experiences.
Never in my life growing up had I thought about hosting or even really knew anyone from another country. When I was approached and asked if I would be iinterested in more information about hosting I was immediately drawn to this particular program. After my family hosted that first year we were hooked for life. We truly enjoy having our spanish daughters returning each summer almost as if we knew each other our entire lives. My only regret is not knowing about this years ago.
Coordinating families to have similar experiences and watching their relationships grow is priceless. From that very first home visit meeting to the departure day, it’s a wonderful feeling watching the relationships grow between the families but even more so between the kids as they grow in their relationships with one another. I truly start thinking about the next summer while our students are mid air on their way back to their families in Spain.
I look forward to meeting more families with the same interest, curiosity and optimism that it takes to open your heart and home to someone completely new to your world.
While in college I had the opportunity to study abroad and travel throughout Europe. Getting to know other cultures and immersing myself in the Spanish culture really opened my eyes to the world around me. Lucky for me, I became very good friends with some of the people I met along the way. One of them being Krissa. When she asked me if I would help her on this journey I didn’t bat an eye. It’s been 8 years since I joined this organization and been helping to find host families in Southeastern Wisconsin. I’ve seen it grow in popularity with it’s repeating host families. The friendships that have been made are truly amazing.
Having taught elementary Spanish, I too feel passionate about providing these once –in –a-lifetime learning experiences for not only our youth but for everyone involved. It is an experience you will never forget.
We love the ability to provide an “American” experience to our guests, all the while absorbing the culture, food, accents and humor from around the world. Our own children see the countries as no longer just places on a map, but as homes to many of our new friends who we still keep in contact with. We look forward to hosting for many years into the future. If you have already been a host family, you know why. If this is your first time hosting a student, you are in for a real gift to yourself and your family.
I enjoy working with International Friendship as a Host Family Coordinator. Meeting each of the new students and their host families is exciting. Spreading the word about this great program and the benefits our family has received is a pleasure.
My name is Lisa, wife to Mark, mom to Donovan, Braeden, and Kelsey. I was born an “Army Brat” in Berlin, Germany and lived in various places throughout the US and the world including Kuwait. 20 years ago, I got restless for another move and packed my car and started driving west from Massachusetts with no particular destination in mind. The first place I needed gas was Madison, Connecticut. So, crazy as it seems, I circled Madison, WI on my old paper map and, as they say, the rest is 'destiny.' My husband is originally from Wisconsin. An avid traveler by nature, his parents have been involved with a high school foreign exchange program for over 40 years and his sister spent a year abroad in New Zealand as an exchange student while in high school. We always talked about becoming a host family one day.
Our family’s host family experience started over 10 years ago when we decided to host three British soccer coaches for a week while our kids took the summer camp. Since that time, we have hosted 30+ international coaches and students from places such as England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, China, Denmark, Germany and of course, Spain. Our guests have stayed with us anywhere from one week to a couple of months to a full school year. For the last 8 years, we have also hosted Spanish students through the International Friendship Program. A few of them have returned for 2 and 3 years. We love the ability to provide an “American” experience to our guests, all the while absorbing the culture, food, accents and humor from around the world. Our own children see the countries as no longer just places on a map, but as homes to many of our new friends who we still keep in contact with. We look forward to hosting for many years into the future. If you have already been a host family, you know why. If this is your first time hosting a student, you are in for a real gift to yourself and your family.
I love working with International Friendship and Learning as a Host Family Coordinator. Meeting each of the new students and their host families is exciting. Spreading the word about this great program and the benefits our family has received will be a pleasure.
I’m relatively new to the International Friendship family, though not new to the idea of international friendship. As a student and young adult, I have been hosted by 3 separate families on 3 different study/work trips to Spain. I was so impacted by the experience: I embraced into the Spanish culture, I learned to understand diverse world views, and I have formed relationships that will last a lifetime. During my years as a Spanish teacher, I had the opportunity to travel with students to Spain and watch them be transformed by the experience of being hosted. Though I am currently enjoying my time as a full-time mom, I am enjoying facilitating this hosting experience for students of the next generation through International Friendship and Learning.