Lessons in Kindness and Caring: A Host Mother’s Lasting Gift

Idil is a 2018-19 YES Scholarship Recipient and Greenheart Exchange High School Student from Istanbul, Turkey placed in Maine. Greenheart asked Idil to share how her host mother (and Greenheart Local Coordinator) has affected and inspired her exchange year and what advice she has for families considering hosting for the first time:

Even though she has three different jobs and a lot of communities that she is involved with, Lisa always makes time for us to hang out and to show and teach me American culture. So my advice to the busy families that want to host is: ‘”You will have time!”

My host family taught everything I know about America. Maybe it doesn’t seem like big deal to you but it will when I go back to Turkey and tell them how welcoming, nice and caring Americans were! One of the things that I heard from host families a lot is, since exchange students have mostly never been outside of their country, is that everything you will do together will be new to them (the student). But trust me that it was hilarious how my dear host mother laughed with me as I kept falling when I tried ice-skating for the first time!

Also, I have always been a worrier and over thinker, and I am still like that a little bit but Lisa taught me that only if you pay attention or worry, will things affect you. Also, she always talks about karma and how you treat people will be the way that they will treat you. So overall I learned kindness this year. While I was in Turkey learning about YES program I thought it would be impossible for a family to host somebody that has different ethnicity, religion, language and even nationality from you. On top of this you  give food to them, spend time with them for 10 months for free. So now I can proudly say that I learned goodness and kindness first from my host mother then from all mother’s that gave a home away from home to us, exchange students.

Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you so much and we all love you!!!

*Idil is a YES scholarship recipient. If you are as student from a YES country seeking to study in the US, visit: www.yesprograms.org