Laura Wang & Frank Xu – Host Parents – New Jersey

Hosted a German Exchange Student

An Asian-European-American Connection

WangXuAsian-American host parents Laura Wang and Frank Xu of West Windsor, NJ are often times the object of second looks and double takes when out in public with their host son Fabian Stuermer-Heiber. A German “blonde and blue,” Fabian and his host brother Elliott tend to draw lots of attention when the family is out to dinner, at the movies, or simply shopping at the neighborhood grocery store. The family is taking the extra attention in stride, and Frank and Laura often tease Fabian for being their ‘lost European’ son.

When asked about the family’s unusual dynamic, Laura commented that Fabian quickly became accustomed to the life of Asian Americans: his chopstick skills are refined, he eats rice everyday, and he drinks his soup with loud slurps. Laura added, “We are one normal, happy family with two sons- one just looks a little different from the other…If we were asked to redo this whole thing, we would pick the same student and host him in the same way, except that maybe we could try to love him a little less so that the separation would not be too hard.”

A relatively new concept in the Asian American community, the trend of hosting international students is on the rise. These occasions offer students a unique window into multi-cultural American society.

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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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