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STLCC-Florissant Valley and Youth For Understanding Seek Host Families

July 12, 2013

Is your family open to new and enriching experiences? St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley and Youth For Understanding (YFU) are looking for two families to host international students arriving in August. The students are from South Korea and Belgium.

The host family will provide room, board, guidance and help the student adapt to the American way of life. The student, in turn, will bring a wealth of intercultural perspectives to the host family.

“Families will have an opportunity to experience global diversity in the comfort of their own home,” said Susan McKnight, YFU coordinator at STLCC-Florissant Valley. “It’s really is a win-win situation for both sides.”


STLCC-Florissant Valley has been hosting YFU exchange students since 2007, as part of the YFU Community College Program. The program provides participants from around the globe diverse educational opportunities through academic and cultural experiences while living with a carefully selected host family. There are many facets to a sound education, and cross-cultural interaction is a key contributor. 

Different types of families are selected to host YFU students. Married couples with or without children, single parents, and singles without children as well as families with teenagers are encouraged to apply. A stipend will be given to host families to help offset the costs of hosting.

Students in need of host families include Geonsoo and Ellen.

Geonsoo, a 22-year-old male from South Korea, enjoys music, badminton and movies. He is a foodie who dreams of trying different cuisines from around the world.

“I look forward to trying new American food as well as having new American experiences,” he said.

This avid reader says he is committed to gaining a larger world view and improving his English by spending a year abroad.  


Ellen, an 18-year-old female from Belgium, enjoys a variety of activities, which include belly dancing, running and playing the piano. She hopes to study law and own her own law firm.

“I am excited to learn more about American culture and integrate into a new family,” she said. 

Established in 1951, YFU began as a high school exchange program. The community college component of the program started nearly 20 years ago. YFU students pursue a mix of English as a Second Language and academic coursework for a semester, a year, or a two-year associate degree. Since the program’s inception, approximately 3,000 students from more than 35 countries have taken on the challenges of U.S. college life.

For more information about serving as a host family for these students, contact McKnight at 314-513-4237.