My YFU Family Is The Best Because…

My YFU Family is the BEST because…

Eleven of our twenty-one YFU daughters joined us in Berlin this month for a big family reunion!

The official event was three days long with lots of chocolate chip cookies, s’mores, stories and pictures.  It was great fun to watch these lovely, accomplished young women get to know each other, swap stories and discover what exchange student experiences they shared.  We played a game “Stand up if you ate tacos as your first meal . . . made homemade ice cream . . . played in the orchestra . . . talked to Uncle Bob about his stamp collection . . . liked root beer . . .”  We met their parents, husbands, boyfriends and five of our nine YFU grandchildren.  Five of our daughters live in Berlin. We got to see their homes, walk their neighborhoods and meet them for an afternoon at a museum or in Potsdam before and after the reunion itself. We even randomly run into one daughter on a busy Berlin shopping street!  Two live within a short distance of one another and one of my favorite mornings involved leaving one house, walking to the local Saturday market, then popping over to the other’s house to retrieve something.  The grandchildren were excited to see me again and I could wish my YFU son-in-law a happy birthday in person.  By the time we left, we felt very at home in many corners of Berlin.

We originally initiated the idea of the reunion last fall and set up the basic outline of events, but it was our daughters and their families who pulled it all together and filled in all the gaps, made the food, organized the adventures, hosted the ones coming in from afar and put together a scrapbook for us to express what their years abroad had meant to them.  My YFU family is the best.

— Susan was a host mom from 1989 to 2011 and a volunteer from Charlottesville, VA.

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About Youth For Understanding USA

Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. Backed by a global team of volunteers, YFU provides cultural education and guidance to all participants. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU is the only organization awarded full-listing for J-1 inbound, outbound and short term exchange by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). Through creating global learning opportunities, YFU has promoted international understanding and world peace to more than 250,000 students and their host families. Thousands of parents across the globe trust YFU with their teenagers every year, and thousands of students every year choose YFU to help them discover their inner selves.
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