Dear Host Family Letter from Julia

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Host Families

We asked our students to write a letter and submit a photo about their host family as a part of our “Dear Host Family” contest on social media. Students were asked to write a letter to their host family, expressing how much their host family means to them and how its affected their exchange experience.

We received so many wonderful entries, and this is one of them! Meet Julia, from Brazil (who also happens to be one of our student bloggers this year!), and her wonderful host family from Oregon. 

Dear American family,

Before I came, we started following each other on Instagram, sometimes we sent some emails and even before I see you or hear your voices, I already knew that we would get along really well! I told my mom, I was feeling that I was going to spend a year with someone of my family, that lived far and I didn't use to hang out a lot, but I used to CARE a lot about.

I remember when you went to pick me up at the airport, I was following the people that were in the same flight as me, because I was kind of lost, the airport was so different from the ones that I was used to... And then, I saw you, you were all waving and smiling at me, holding a big pink and teal sign written "welcome Julia!", and that was how I felt: welcome, in the very first day.

Three days later and it just felt like I have always been here. and there is no words that can describe how much I am thankful for it. Now, we are more than halfway through the exchange year and I've been learning so much with each one of you.

Thank you, Bryan, for every "swim good!" before swimming practices, for every dinner out and scoop of gooey brownie ice cream from Salt and Straw.

Thank you, Dee, for every "good morning!" at 7:10a.m., for every hug and every lunch packed for school!

Thanks, Riley, for being with me all the time: for every ballet class, swim practice and every half English half Portuguese conversations (I am sorry about that!)

Thanks, Maya, for loving To All the Boys I've Loved Before just as me, for every crazy thing in our Bucket List and every talking about random things that just us understand about.

Thank you, Sydney, for being the little sister I always dreamt with, for being the funniest and smartest 10-years-old girl I've always met

When I first decided I was going to be an exchange student, I told my parents that the thing I wanted the most was coming back home and feel like I belong to two different countries, two different cities, two different families! So thank you for making my dream come true, for bringing me closer to God and for being so kind!

I love you all so much!

From your favorite chocolate lover and Brazilian girl,


You can have this experience, too! If you are intereted in becoming a CIEE host family, click here to create an account and start your host family application.