• Last modified 2138 days ago (July 18, 2013)


Group seeks exchange families

Staff writer

Welcoming foreign exchange students into her home has affected Doris Unruh’s children as much as it has her own life.

Unruh’s daughter, Marie, now travels the world constantly. She is currently in Europe.

“The world has become so small; they realize there’s more than Marion County,” Unruh said. “They will always have friendships around the world.”

Carol Duerksen, state coordinator for the exchange student foundation ERDT/Share, said 50 to 100 students still need placement.

Families that welcome exchange students do not have to be traditional homes like Unruh’s.

“We have a wide variety of people that serve as host families,” Duerksen said. “It can be a young couple, a retired couple, a single host mom, or single host dad. You don’t need kids.”

Unruh, a teacher at Peabody-Burns High School has opened her home to 11 students from Brazil, Germany, Poland, and Albania. She said being a part of the program has kept her young.

“It keeps you in touch with young people,” Unruh said. “Hosting takes work, but the benefits outweigh any inconveniences that may arrive.”

Families can contact Duerksen at (800) 296-3738.

“Marion, Hillsboro, Peabody, and Goessel, all four of those high schools have been exceptional,” Duerksen said. “We’re hoping to find some more families.”

Last modified July 18, 2013