Earlier this week I had the privilege of talking with a student from China. Leo came to Minnesota last year, and when I asked how he decided on this state he told me it was because of the American sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. I haven’t seen it, but apparently one of the characters is from Minnesota and that was enough to peak his interest.
Leo loves America; he says the culture is exotic. He’s adventurous and he wants to try everything. He even tried ice fishing which he says was the worst experience of his life. His Chinese friends tease him saying he’s more American than Chinese, and Leo is okay with that.
Leo reached out to me because he wants to live with an American family. He came to America to learn about American culture; he doesn’t want to spend his time here living with Chinese people—that’s what he’s done his whole life!
He wants to cook for an American family and share his culture, and he wants an American family to cook for him and share their culture. He wants to explore Minnesota and build meaningful relationships. He wants to look back on his time here and know he got the most out of it that he could!
There are so many international students just like Leo who come to Minnesota and never see the inside of an American’s home. They’re curious about our culture, and they want to make friends with Americans. They chose to come to America for a reason!
HCC has a long-term hosting program for students who want to truly dive into our culture and experience the American life. This program requires a three-month minimum commitment, but it often lasts longer as the family and the student become good friends. (The family receives a monthly stipend.)
HCC also offers short-term hosting (a couple days to a week), hosting for holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter, and a program called Friendship Match that pairs Americans and international students for the purpose of learning each other’s cultures and helping students feel welcome.
We have an amazing ministry opportunity right here in front of us. Chinese and other international students have come to us ready to learn more, all we need to do is open our front doors.
Name has been changed for safety reasons.