The Luib Family (3 time host)

We were motivated to host originally because we knew there was a need for host families and we were looking to experience another country without having to travel there ourselves. We continued to host because it was an awesome opportunity for my own kids to experience another culture and learn to adapt. What a great way to make connections with some awesome kids. It is a lot of fun showing off our community and state. It also allows us to more fully enjoy the place that we live. I would recommend new families try it as it is a great way to expand your horizons. Yes, you will have to step out of your comfort zone, but you won't regret it. The short time period that the kids are here just flies by and you will wonder where the time has gone. At the end of it you will be wishing they could stay longer.


The Sowinski Family (1st time host)

Dear Ramon and Dora,

We want to thank you for trusting us to take care of Mar.  We are so pleased that we chose to participate in Mary Kay's international program.  As you may recall from previous notes, I commented how delightful and special your girl is.  Mar is remarkable.... making such a positive and meaningful impression in this world.  We frequently heard from friends and family how much people enjoyed spending time with Mar.

Most recently, our activities included a birthday celebration, a family movie, and a wedding reception.  Of course, the 26-day visit seemed to come to a close all too quickly.  However, we have told Mar that we would enjoy hosting your family, her, or Mar/Mer for a future visit.  It will be nice to explore that idea with you.

Mar left a wonderful surprise "thank you note" for us that we found a few hours after she left.  Of course, again, Mar reminded us of how valuable the experience was for her and how impressionable she is on all of us.  You have much, much, much to be proud of.  Mar is intuitive, attentive, engaging, loving, and caring.  These qualities will continue to serve her well.  I imagine she will have many smiles recalling our adventures and experiences.  I also hope that the DVD movie we made can be viewed by you in Spain-- maybe on the television or on the computer.  It is wonderful!

Thank you again for bringing such a beautiful person into this world.  We will miss her presence.  We loved making her feel like a part of our family.  We look forward to nurturing our family friendships with you in the days and years ahead.

May your summer days continue to be rewarding and refreshing!  Have a great family vacation!


Laura Sowinski

The Henning Family (1st time host)

Dear Mary Kay,

Thank you very much for the email. It was very heart felt and appreciated. It was really nice to hear that Alba had a wonderful time with our family. We had such a great time with her and know this experience has changed our lives as well. We now have another daughter and Megan has a sister she never had. We miss having her here. We look forward to visiting Asturias and meeting the rest of our Spanish family. What you do is important and life changing for both students and families. Keep up the great work!!

A big hug from America,


Going to America and the WASC Camp Experience

By: Luis Fernández González-Irún


Going to America was such an incredible experience and not only because I learnt a lot of English but because I experienced another way of living. Everything is just so different in so many ways. In my opinion, you can read as much as you want of a culture, it will never be the same as having experienced it. You need to experience America from the inside, I assure you that nothing will make you feel more American than eating a huge burger at Culver’s or an All you can eat breakfast at Denny’s. The month that I spent with my American family was one of the best ones of my life. I had so much fun and that’s the thing you learn English without noticing.  I treated my host family as my own, I love them so much! I remember spending afternoons just chatting with my American parents or going to a grocery store with my American mum, I loved going there.  They are huge and they have everything! There must be at least 10 kinds of chocolate ice-cream. My American brother and sister were the best.  My brother and I were inseparable and there was nothing like singing Country music as loud as we could in my sister’s car. I also made so many new friends, we did many things together.  We went camping (where we got bit everywhere by mosquitoes); we also went to a theme park in which I rode the biggest roller coaster and of course we ate so much junk food. I had I blast! I miss them so much, I can’t wait to go back!


The Elliot Family (1st time hosts)

This has been such a wonderful experience for our family :)  The boys & my daughter absolutely loved the WASC camp :)
We will miss them so much:(  You & your husband are doing such a wonderful thing giving all these students a chance to come to USA.
I would be interested in a few yrs having my daughter Jasmine come to Spain & experience there way of life & culture:)  Thanks to you & your family to help make this happen:)  Good blesses each of us with unique gifts.  I think you use your special gifts from him in such a beautiful way.  So un-selfish :)  Best of luck to you as you continue to share your gifts & your heart with the world.
Warmest regards
-Ann Elliott

The Wienke Family (5 time host)

Nano y María.jpg

Hello Mary Kay!!!

I wanted to send you an email and let you know how blessed we feel to have been part of your exchange program for the last four years.  Our family is truly blessed with the students who have stayed with us!! This year was no exception.  Nano (Fernando)  was amazing to have with us for the month.  He was joyful and full of grace all of the time (even I am not that:)).  But more than that he truly wanted to make a connection with our children.  Our boys are 12 and 10, not exactly the same age as him, but he did a great job finding things to do that they would all enjoy doing and could do.  I thank God for soccer and swimming...he spent so much time talking with them while doing these things.  He encouraged our boys to do better all the time and I am forever grateful.  Most important to me is that he became more than just a student to our family, he became family!  We stay connected through social media, often times daily but for sure weekly.  We use it to  send pictures back and forth and our youngest sends Nano weekly video messages.  He is truly part of the family and deeply missed.  I tell you all of this so that you can know what a difference your program makes!  We are forever changed and I am grateful.
One last thing I want to share.  We had the unique experience of Nano actually knowing one of our previous students, Maria.  We were super surprised when he was in the living room one day looking at pictures and he said "I know Maria." (a former exchange student) We all thought "Wow! How cool!"   Then last Friday, I received the attached photo from Nano!  A picture of him and Maria with the follow text "A photo for the Wienke family!"   I can not explain how cool that was to receive and the fact that when he saw her he thought to do that for us!
Thank you so much for all you do!  Thank you so much for continuing to do this program!  Thank you so much for serving these kids this way!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

God Bless,

Jessie Wienke