This post actually has nothing to do with what I'm wearing (though, this here is pretty typical of what I've been sporting this summer when I'm not in cut-offs and cowboy boots). Instead I want to talk about travel & foreign exchange programs ... and I don't want you to forget what I look like (kidding).
One couple of things that became very apparent while I was traveling through Europe for three weeks:
1. I only speak English (while it seems as if every one else I encountered was able to speak at least two languages, minimum) - this is embarrassing.
2. I'm not well-traveled (and it seems as if everyone else has been everywhere) - I'm working on it.
It's this combination of being born in the middle of America with parents who are content being homebodies that I'm just now starting to rebel against. We had really fantastic family vacations to Disneyworld and the Rocky Mountains when I was a kid. But I wish I had been brave enough to go out and see the world with younger eyes when I was in highschool or college. The opportunities to travel abroad seemed limited to religious missionary trips (I didn't go to church) or friends with posh parents who could afford to take trips overseas. Also, my major in college had a tight 4-year schedule that didn't really support or encourage studying abroad and if I'm honest - I was too attached to my boyfriend and scared to leave.
Up until the day I turned 16 I rode the bus to school every day. And when I was about 15 I became intrigued by the new girl with little square purple glasses, naturally curly hair and a funny little backpack get on the bus. She had this warmth to her and when she said "hello" with an accent I became straight-up mesmerized. Lena was a foreign exchange student from Germany and over the course of a semester we became friends. We rode the bus and ate lunch in the cafeteria together. She told me stories about the sport she played, the food she liked and what she enjoyed studying. She seemed wise beyond her years - mature but not pretentious. Effortlessly liberal and just chill. I realize now that Lena's time in the US wasn't just an opportunity for her but for kids like me who became friends with her during her brief stint here.
So when my blog buddy Maxi (also from Germany) asked me if I would tell you all about a foreign exchange program that is close to her heart I enthusiastically obliged. I thought of my friend Lena from Germany and how she really did impact my high school experience. I would love to provide that kind of experience for a student one day - maybe when I have teenagers of my own.
I work for a non- profit organization for High School Student Exchange. Every year we send teenagers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Iceland, China etc. to live with US families for a semester or school year so they learn about the US and become ambassadors: represent their country to Americans and after their return home they represent the US in their country. I strongly believe in this sort of cultural exchange bringing our world closer together.
The problem we face every year is that we have a hard time finding enough volunteer host families.
As you like to travel and like braiding people and ideas together, I was wondering if you would want to write a post about our organization to help spread the word in the USA that we still need many nice families to host an international student. The deadline from the Department of State is the 31st August so we only have one month left until we have to send all host families names to the DoS. It would break my heart to not be able to place all students in American homes. It is their huge dream to go to America and I want to make their dream come true- with your help.
I would be more than thrilled if you would want to spread the word in blog world and ask everybody – even if they can not host themselves- to forward the message.
A host family can have any kind of structure: a young couple without kids (like you and Jeremy), empty nesters (like your parents), a family with kids (like your sister), single parents or same sex parents (like some of your friends).
More info for interested families can be found here http://usa.international-experience.net/host-families/information/host-family-selection or they can call our toll free number 888-266-2921.
Thank you so so so very much for making the dream of those teenagers come true!
We need the help of every American!!! Even if people just refer a family they know: http://usa.international-experience.net/referral/
We are not allowed to pay families but what we can do is donate money to other organizations. So for every family we find through you that ends up actually hosting we can donate $200 to an organization you would like to support!
If you have any questions leave them for Maxi in the comments or feel free to email her direct at m.delahaye (at) international-experience (dot) net.
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- The Truth About Travel
- Day 8: More Budapest
- Day 7: Hello Budapest
- Green Smoothie
- Day 6: Planning Our Next Move
- The kind of weekend...
- Whole 30 | Day 23
- Mustache Bash No. 3
- Day 5: Wine and Bikes in Vienna
- About Face
- Whole30: Days 9-16
- When Having A Dream Job Takes Work
- Day 4: Vienna
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Foreign Exchange
- The Whole 30: Day 9 of my Detox
- Day 3: Auschwitz
- ▼ August (16)
- ► 2011 (257)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings