Foreign exchange student from Venezuela lies on the grass with her multi-cultural friends in Ohio
From warmer (but equally happy) days, clockwise from top are Alejandra and some of her international family

International Family

As we are halfway through the year, now seems like a good time to reflect on my very special experience. It has not only been about memories, it is also about incredible people that have been by my side. A home is the place where friends meet, family gathers, and love grows. A family is not only blood, it is the people in your life who want you in theirs, would do anything to see you smile, accept you for who you are, and love you no matter what.

My PAX family is composed of my host family, friends, and my coordinator’s family. I have witnessed so many firsts, and I’ve learned about the United States and many other countries.

Learning about traditions and cultures makes you realize how different but at the same time how similar people are to each other. It does not matter what your religion is, how you dress or what your values are. All countries are in the same world, and it is our job to make it safe. Being an exchange student is a good start. 

—Alejandra (Venezuela), hosted by the Breakey family (OH)