Host Family Needed for PA Exchange Student

Posted on: Mon, 04/03/2006 - 8:34pm
Chris LaPlaca's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/22/1999 - 09:00

The Northeast Coordinator of Pacific Intercultural Exchange contacted me and asked me to spread the word about a PA Exchange Student visiting in August for the next school year. They are very concerned about her allergy and would like to place her with a host family who completely understands the PA situation, and prefer a Peanut-Free home.

You can contact Mary directly, or feel free to contact me at

[email]claplaca@rebeccasnutfree.com[/email].

Thanks!
Chris LaPlaca
Owner, Rebecca's Nut-Free

Dear Chris,
Thanks for your help! Here is some more information:

Pacific Intercultural Exchange is desperately searching for a host family for a female high school foreign exchange student from Germany who has a peanut allergy. Lisa is a 16 year old girl from Germany who intends to spend an academic school year abroad in the US who has an allergy to peanuts. She enjoys playing computer game, writing stories and listening to music in her spare time. She is a serious swimmer and has received many awards for swimming competitions. She has a younger brother, 12 years old. Lisa speaks German, English and Advanced Latin. She has medical insurance and her own spending money. A volunteer host family provides room, board and a supportive environment for their student. This student may be placed in any of the following states: MA, NH, VT, ME, CT, RI, NY, NJ. If you can open your home to this young ambassador from abroad, please contact Mary Armstrong at 978-685-2732 / email: [email]armstrong.mary@comcast.net[/email] / website: [url="http://www.pieusa.net"]www.pieusa.net[/url]

Thank you for sharing the word. I hope we are able to find a host family for this student through your network of families with a peanut allergy.

Mary Armstrong
Area Coordinator
Pacific Intercultural Exchange
Tel. 978-685-2732

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:14am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

As many here already know, this is exactly how I ended up with my 17 year old PA exchange student from Germany. Martin will be going home next month. This month his mom and dad will come and visit! I am so excited. Martin is a wonderful kid!! We have had so much fun this entire year. If anyone is on the fence, I would encourage you to just jump!
Everything about the experience has been positive. The only thing I am dreading.... him LEAVING!! This will be a very, very sad day. The only thing that consoles, he has promised to come visit either next year or the year after. In addition, we will someday go to Germany and visit.
According to Martin, it is harder to avoid peanuts here than in Germany. He hasn't had any reactions, however, he has bitten into a PB brownie and a PB cookie at school as well as a PB candy.
I will take this next year "off" and then will certainly get another exchange student. By then my PA son will be in high school and closer in age to the exchange student.
I wish Lisa good luck and hope somebody that "gets it" gets her!
Have a blessed day!
Bridget

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:57am
maddiesmom's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

I am interested for many reasons but also have a few questions/concerns.
I am excited that she is from Germany since my DH speaks fluent German. I also think it would be great for my DD who is 7 to see an older child with allergies like hers.
My concerns are should I wait until my kids are older to try to do this? My DD is 7 1/2 and my DS is only 4. Would it be easier and better for the exchange student to be living with a family with older kids?? Also, how do you handle driving? They have to be 18 (I believe) in Germany to get a licence, but would she want to get a US license while she was here? If so, would she want/need to drive our car and where would that put us for insurance purposes?
Would love your thoughts/opinions since I am very interested in this opprotunity.
Shandra

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 8:02am
LauraP's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/10/1999 - 09:00

Now this is intriguing, for many reasons :-)
I am a writer, and do quite a bit of stuff for German TV :-) In fact, just got back from a trip to Germany 2 weeks ago. Husband owns a music store...and son loves computer games. My 9 year old daughter is loving the thought of a "big sister" for a year. And we've got a lake only 5 minutes from the house...and we're in CT!! And I might add we are a 100% peanut/tree nut free home, reaction free for ten years (knock wood!!!)
My question, momma. How did you handle school with Martin? Did you have a 504 with him? Did you have to go through that whole process? And what about medical care - I'd want to have her introduced to an allergist here immediately upon arrival, in the event of any problems. What did you do with Martin in advance, in the event of an emergency?

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Laura,
I was concerned about the whole school process before he came over. When he got here we went to the school and registered him and talked with guidance about his schedule. When I mentioned the peanut allergy, she immediately told me about an incident at the school the year before. A boy knew he was PA but never told anyone at the school. He had no epi and just avoided. Well, he ate a PB brownie and got very ill. The school has an on-campus health center. They gave him a shot of epinephrine and called 911. Paramedics arrived and he got another shot and was taken to the hospital. He is now fine.
Anyway, long story, to say the school is now very PA aware. Martin does not have an epi. He has always managed by simply avoiding -- and avoiding in Germany is easier than here.
We also spoke with the lunchroom staff and took him to the health center for his school physical to play sports. At that time, they could have prescribed an epi. They did not as he has never had an ana reaction. I was very concerned because I know at any time the next one "could" be ana. My peace of mind came from knowing (1) I have many epi pens if ever needed (2) the school has a health center and is PA aware and (3) Martin has handled his allergy his way and must continue to do so.
At first I thought I will take him directly to my sons doctor etc. etc. Then I realized, this is his allergy, his life. I will do my part (peanut free home, guidance with American food, school is aware, etc.) and he will do his part (he has his own doctor and meds and procedures for handling his allergy).
A 504 in elementary school is one thing, a 504 in high school something entirely different. There are children in high school that may be very sensitive and need a 504. That was not the case with Martin. My son is very sensitive (junior high and no 504). Martin has been exposed about 3 times since being here. Each time he simply spit it out and rinsed his mouth out. No meds were necessary.
I would suggest talking with her about her allergy, how she handles it etc. Then talk with the school, how PA aware are they, etc. What procedures to they have in place etc. At our high school, the first responders are about 2 minutes away. I called them and asked if they carried epi pens. NO!! After telling them why, they called me back in less than a week and guess what?? They now carry epi pens to all calls!!
Just do your part, however, understand she has been handling her allergy and she is the one that ultimately must continue to handle her allergy.
Hope this helps!!
I gotta go, sorry so long!!
Have a blessed day,
Bridget

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 10:04am
Mary Armstrong's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2006 - 09:00

Wow - love to see all these questions about our exchange students. I am both a host mom, as well as an Area Coordinator, and I would be happy to answer all the questions. I have personally hosted 2 girls from Germany, 1 girl from Norway, 1 boys from Brazil, and am currently hosting a girl from the Republic of Georgia - not to mention that I was also an exchange student myself about 20 years ago.
1/ I am a mom with 3 small children (3, 7, & 9) and have been hosting for many years. In fact, some of my most succesful host families are those with small children because the little one just adore their big brothers and sisters from abroad.
2/ Exchange students on our program are NEVER EVER allowed to drive the host family's car. It is WAY TOO RISKY. That being said, some exchange student have chosen to try to obtain their river's license by taking driver's ed. and attending an approved driving school. If they are successful in obtaining their license, our program does not allow them to drive while on program and they must forfeit their license until they are returning home.
If anyone else has questions, I would be happy to talk about the program. I have lots of experience, and we have lots of fun.
Thanks for allowing me to participate in this forum. I hope that we can find a host family for Lisa from Germany.
Mary Armstrong
Tel. 978-685-2732

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:53pm
LaurensMom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

This is something I would be interested in too. My children are nearly 10, nearly 8 and 4. I think it would be a very good experience for all of us.
How soon would Lisa be arriving? We're doing construction on our house that should be complete by Sept but would have only cramped room until then. Might be better to just wait until next year.

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:14am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

As many here already know, this is exactly how I ended up with my 17 year old PA exchange student from Germany. Martin will be going home next month. This month his mom and dad will come and visit! I am so excited. Martin is a wonderful kid!! We have had so much fun this entire year. If anyone is on the fence, I would encourage you to just jump!
Everything about the experience has been positive. The only thing I am dreading.... him LEAVING!! This will be a very, very sad day. The only thing that consoles, he has promised to come visit either next year or the year after. In addition, we will someday go to Germany and visit.
According to Martin, it is harder to avoid peanuts here than in Germany. He hasn't had any reactions, however, he has bitten into a PB brownie and a PB cookie at school as well as a PB candy.
I will take this next year "off" and then will certainly get another exchange student. By then my PA son will be in high school and closer in age to the exchange student.
I wish Lisa good luck and hope somebody that "gets it" gets her!
Have a blessed day!
Bridget

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:57am
maddiesmom's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

I am interested for many reasons but also have a few questions/concerns.
I am excited that she is from Germany since my DH speaks fluent German. I also think it would be great for my DD who is 7 to see an older child with allergies like hers.
My concerns are should I wait until my kids are older to try to do this? My DD is 7 1/2 and my DS is only 4. Would it be easier and better for the exchange student to be living with a family with older kids?? Also, how do you handle driving? They have to be 18 (I believe) in Germany to get a licence, but would she want to get a US license while she was here? If so, would she want/need to drive our car and where would that put us for insurance purposes?
Would love your thoughts/opinions since I am very interested in this opprotunity.
Shandra

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 8:02am
LauraP's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/10/1999 - 09:00

Now this is intriguing, for many reasons :-)
I am a writer, and do quite a bit of stuff for German TV :-) In fact, just got back from a trip to Germany 2 weeks ago. Husband owns a music store...and son loves computer games. My 9 year old daughter is loving the thought of a "big sister" for a year. And we've got a lake only 5 minutes from the house...and we're in CT!! And I might add we are a 100% peanut/tree nut free home, reaction free for ten years (knock wood!!!)
My question, momma. How did you handle school with Martin? Did you have a 504 with him? Did you have to go through that whole process? And what about medical care - I'd want to have her introduced to an allergist here immediately upon arrival, in the event of any problems. What did you do with Martin in advance, in the event of an emergency?

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Laura,
I was concerned about the whole school process before he came over. When he got here we went to the school and registered him and talked with guidance about his schedule. When I mentioned the peanut allergy, she immediately told me about an incident at the school the year before. A boy knew he was PA but never told anyone at the school. He had no epi and just avoided. Well, he ate a PB brownie and got very ill. The school has an on-campus health center. They gave him a shot of epinephrine and called 911. Paramedics arrived and he got another shot and was taken to the hospital. He is now fine.
Anyway, long story, to say the school is now very PA aware. Martin does not have an epi. He has always managed by simply avoiding -- and avoiding in Germany is easier than here.
We also spoke with the lunchroom staff and took him to the health center for his school physical to play sports. At that time, they could have prescribed an epi. They did not as he has never had an ana reaction. I was very concerned because I know at any time the next one "could" be ana. My peace of mind came from knowing (1) I have many epi pens if ever needed (2) the school has a health center and is PA aware and (3) Martin has handled his allergy his way and must continue to do so.
At first I thought I will take him directly to my sons doctor etc. etc. Then I realized, this is his allergy, his life. I will do my part (peanut free home, guidance with American food, school is aware, etc.) and he will do his part (he has his own doctor and meds and procedures for handling his allergy).
A 504 in elementary school is one thing, a 504 in high school something entirely different. There are children in high school that may be very sensitive and need a 504. That was not the case with Martin. My son is very sensitive (junior high and no 504). Martin has been exposed about 3 times since being here. Each time he simply spit it out and rinsed his mouth out. No meds were necessary.
I would suggest talking with her about her allergy, how she handles it etc. Then talk with the school, how PA aware are they, etc. What procedures to they have in place etc. At our high school, the first responders are about 2 minutes away. I called them and asked if they carried epi pens. NO!! After telling them why, they called me back in less than a week and guess what?? They now carry epi pens to all calls!!
Just do your part, however, understand she has been handling her allergy and she is the one that ultimately must continue to handle her allergy.
Hope this helps!!
I gotta go, sorry so long!!
Have a blessed day,
Bridget

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