This week, 21 King’s third through sixth grade families had the incredible opportunity to open their hearts and homes to Japanese fourth grade students from MeySen Academy in Sendai, Japan. This is the sixth year that King’s has been partnering with MeySen to bring a cross cultural experience to students.

The MeySen students have been involved in an English immersion program since Kindergarten. They have learned about American culture and the United States. This exchange is an opportunity for them to experience American family life and attend an American school.

Host families are encouraged to maintain their normal family routines during their time with the MeySen students, so that students can experience ordinary family life in the U.S. MeySen students are encouraged to eat what we eat and live as we do for the 3 nights they stay with their host families.

Sueanne Skeen, mom of Jaxon in fourth grade and Maddox in first, said, “We had a fantastic time getting to know Wes and Vic. The boys had a great time showing them their favorite American activities and food and we loved learning about the Japanese culture.”

Families were all smiles at drop off today. Every one said what a fantastic time they had with their MeySen students and what a great opportunity is was for their children.

“This was our first year hosting MeySen students,” said Christina Schafer, mom of Brid in fifth grade. “I was a little nervous about having two extra kids staying the night for three school nights, but our boys fit right in with the family and it was so fun to see our son Brid step up and be such a helpful leader. All three of the boys worked together each morning to get out of the house, and when we had things like spilled drinks and messes to clean up they comforted and helped each other and laughed about it later on. I believe this is one of the most amazing experiences available at King’s that I never even knew existed.”

“This was our family’a third time hosting students,” remarked Laurra McGregor, mom of Mahrin in sixth and Lachlan in eighth. “It’s always amazing to me what rich culture you receive  by bringing others into your home! We absolutely love our girls, we loved watching them enjoy and be excited about the simple things that we take for granted, like a trampoline or that our gas fireplace turns on and off with a button! These girls absolutely stole our hearts, and we are so grateful we had the opportunity to get to know them and welcome them into our home and our family.”

Thanh Kirkpatrick, mom of fourth grader Kason and eighth grader Katriona, added “This was our first year hosting the MeySen Japanese students.  We had a fabulous time with Doug and Stephen.  It’s amazing how small our world is! Sharing our Vietnamese/American culture with them and learning about Japanese culture has been such a treat. An added benefit was that Kason was extremely well-behaved because he enjoys being a student ambassador to the students.  Thank you for this joyful experience!”

Many families have connected via email and exchanged photos. We pray that each new friendship will last many years into the future!