||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Family to Travel to England To Visit|
International Exchange Student's Family
MAILED: July 7, 1999|
Even though her residence is in Eau Claire, Kathy Forer considers herself international by nature.
Every chance Forer gets to learn more about the world she takes hold of it and soaks up all the information possible.
So when she heard the Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was in need of host families for international students five years ago, Forer jumped at the opportunity.
"I wanted to learn more about other cultures and nationalities," she said. "And this program allowed me to do that."
Since 1995, Forer and her family have hosted four exchange students who have come to Eau Claire from around the globe through the university's Host Friend Program. This fall they will host their fifth student.
"These kids are so worldly," Forer said. "There is such a gift of knowledge in having them stay with us. Their ideas are so interesting and I want to learn all that I can from them."
Forer still communicates with the students she's hosted on a regular basis, including Vyara Plugcheva from Bulgaria whom Forer e-mails every week.
"We absolutely fell in love with her," Forer said of Plugcheva, who came to Eau Claire in 1996. "We keep trying to get her to come back."
Another strong bond was formed with England native Kate Headworth, who studied at UW-Eau Claire in 1997. On Aug. 9-16, Forer, her husband, Jim, and daughter, Katie Edson, will travel to England to stay with Headworth's family.
"This is such a great opportunity for us," Forer said, noting that because of their experiences with the Host Friend Program they are able to travel to Europe for the first time. "We are really looking forward to this."
UW-Eau Claire Host Friend Coordinator Jenny Froyd said Forer's involvement with the program is outstanding.
"Kathy is a model host friend," Froyd said, noting that about 150 community families host international students annually. "She's been willing to get to know the students and to share American culture with them. Even though she's very busy as a parent, a wife and a career person, she has found time to open up her home and heart to international students."
Forer said she simply treats her exchange students as one more member of the family.
"They give us much more than we give them," she said. "I haven't had one bad experience with this program. I would recommend it to anyone."
For more information on the Host Friend Program, contact the UW-Eau Claire Center for International Education at (715) 836-4411.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 7, 1999