Nazym and her host siblings soak up the atmosphere at the Tennessee Aquarium

Happily Hosting in Tennessee

This is our first experience hosting an exchange student, and we were a little nervous about how it would go. We have two high schoolers already and keep very busy schedules. So far, we are having a great time!  

Nazym is eager to experience everything and that included going straight from the airport when she arrived from Kazakhstan to the big homecoming football game. She’s tried lots of new foods, gone swimming in deep water, beat us all in bowling (all firsts for her), and has fit right in as the older sister to her host siblings, Autumn and Aaron. They are having fun being goofy teenagers which is wonderful to see! 

We can’t wait to show her more of our beautiful area. Nazym’s home town in Kazakhstan is a very arid desert, and she loves all of the natural beauty that our area is known for. I can’t wait for her to see the hillsides when the leaves have changed colors! We are learning all about Kazakhstan as well, which honestly we knew nothing about. It’s interesting to hear about the customs and traditions that her family practices as well as the differences in food, schools, and religions. We are looking forward to many more firsts with Nazym this year... first pumpkin carving, first time seeing the ocean, first Thanksgiving and Christmas—just to name a few! I think it’s going to be a fantastic year!

—The Jerd family (TN), host family of Nazym (FLEX, Kazakhstan)