Exchange students from all over the world land in Kansas City for 10-month-long stay

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 8:38 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 8:46 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - More than 25 exchange students from across the world are in the Kansas City metro getting an experience unlike anything else.

It’s part of the EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study program that has them fly into KCI Saturday morning.

“If I can choose to live in the U.S. Somewhere, I would still come here,” said Jason Knittel who is from Germany and was part of the program in 2017. “Just be open to basically everything. Don’t say, ‘Oh, no I didn’t like this in Germany’ or wherever you come from. Just do it.”

Matt Culp and his family are welcoming a familiar face into their home as they met Victoria by way of her uncle. Culp played baseball in Germany years ago with her uncle and the family wanted to host her this year.

“We’re proud of Kansas City, we’re excited to show her the town that we love and show her our little piece of America,” said Culp.

Victoria will get a glance at quite a few things in the area -- as they have a Chiefs game, a Royals game, the Nelson-Atkins, World War I Museum, and plenty more in store to see.

The experiences aren’t meant only for Victoria and the other exchange students coming here, but we in the States get a chance to learn about the world.

“On the flip side for my family, I’m excited to have an exchange student share her perspective of the world and her perspective of being an exchange student and what America means to her,” said Culp.

ALSO READ: Here is when the major school districts in the Kansas City area return to class.

“Getting to know like you have people here too. So they’re like an extra family,” said Yasmin Thusen, an exchange student from Denmark.

Some host families like the Carlson’s are tenured at welcoming exchange students into their homes. Ashley Carlson said she’s been participating in programs like this most of her life.

“I think it’s so cool to kind of contribute to, I know this sounds silly but like, world peace in a way of like having that interaction with someone from a different country, and it just becomes so personal and so much like family,” she said.

Some families, like the Shelly’s who are a performing arts family, are newcomers. Which fits well with their student – Javier from Spain – who likes to dance.

“Knowing that we get to continue his passion while he’s here and giving him opportunities here is just a blessing within itself,” said Torrie Shelly.

This doesn’t mean he’ll be out of their lives when he goes back home in 10 months though.

Cayden Shelly said, “I’ll have social media with him and be able to talk to him thankfully with the internet and all that. So, yeah, it’ll definitely be a close relationship with him.”

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