About this blog

H & H cherry blossomWe, Harald and Hester, created this blog to share our experiences as a Dutch host family for an exchange student. This was from August 2013 until December 2013 and the first time we hosted. As we did not yet know at that point if we’d welcome any other exchange students in the future, the blog was “shared” and written from our but also our exchange student’s perspective. In the future we might host again and we might blog about it again. We’ll see when the time comes.

Zoé lived with us for about four months and attended a Dutch high school during that time. The official goal of the “High School Holland” program was to immerse into Dutch life to learn the Dutch language well and have the ultimate cultural experience. Our personal goal was to make it a fun stay for everyone above all.

Zoé was quite the globe trotter already, but stayed closer to home this time as she is from the French part of Belgium. For young Belgians like herself it’s an advantage at university and in their future jobs to have a good knowledge of Dutch, so what better way to learn the language than to experience it in daily life with only Dutch speaking people around them?

As for the “parents” writing this blog, we’ve seen some corners of the world and have wishes and plans to visit certain places in the future. But we also thought it would be at least as much fun to share our own culture and country with enthusiastic youngsters. We also feel we’ll experience another culture, way of thinking, language and much more by inviting an exchange student into our home.

We shared as much of our experience of Zoé’s stay we felt possible and useful. This included the stories leading up to the actual exchange period, whatever we wanted to share about the fun parts and maybe the not so fun parts, pictures of trips, daily life and anything we couldn’t at the beginning of the exchange yet think of.

Hopefully you can appreciate this blog and maybe you’ll even be inspired to give the chance of an exchange to a student and your own family at some point in the future.