Foreign exchange students in need of host families - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Foreign exchange students in need of host families

PAMPA, TX- It's becoming more difficult for foreign exchange students to study here in the panhandle because of a shortage of host families. 

Robin Abshire moved to Pampa from Louisiana one year ago. She spends her time matching foreign exchange students up with families across the panhandle. 

"Going back to high school many years ago, I was involved with exchange students that were in my high school and it was just and interesting situation," Abshire said. "We got to learn about their culture and we shared things with them and did activities that they did." 

The experience motivated here to get involved as the area manager of the International Exchange Program. 

Right now, she's looking for about 10 host families to take in high school aged teens from around the world. 

It's a task that's easier said than done. 

"There are not enough homes," she said. "I think that a lot of people with the economy the way it is tend to shy back. 

Rodney West of White Deer decided to open up his doors to foreign exchange students 6 years ago. 

"It just seemed to work out," he said. "Treat them like your own kids, give them love and they'll love you back." 

He says the learning experience is what makes everything so memorable. 

"Having them come back to see you and still wanting you to be part of their family and wanting you to be part of theirs is great," he added. 

Abshire says one of the common misconceptions about becoming a host family are concerns over the potential financial burden . 

She says in most cases, students come here with their own money and medical insurance. 

Often times all the resident has to provide is a house and some Texas TLC! 

If you'd like to contact Abshire or learn more about becoming a host family for foreign exchange students, you can reach her at 337-296-7052 or email her at robin.isedelta@gmail.com. 

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