The Harbinger Online

AYA is Looking for Host Families for the Upcoming Year

Academic Year in America is looking for families who would host exchange students for the upcoming school year. Currently, there is a boy from Denmark, a boy from China, and a girl from Germany who need host families. The girl from Germany will only be here for the fall semester and the others for the whole school year approximately 10 months. If interested, the local coordinator, Sandy Burgers, can send students’ bios via email.

Host families will provide a place to sleep and study as well as two meals a day during the week and three on weekends. Spending money, money for school activities, supplies, school lunches, travel, and any other personal needs will be financed by the student. Burgers has been a host family for the past two years and loved it so much that she decided to become the local coordinator.

Here is her story:

“I recently left my job as a para professional with the Shawnee Mission School District to become a Local Coordinator for Academic Year in America. After hosting a young man from Denmark and then a young lady from Romania the past two years I knew I was hooked. Both of them attended Shawnee Mission East and had the time of their lives. It was amazing to watch them grow and become even more confident not only in their command of English, but also to see lifetime friendships and relationships evolve. These two young people inspired me to put my energy into making the dreams and ambitions of students wanting to study and experience America come true. It is now my job to find host families that want to open their homes and hearts to an exchange student. I will be working closely with the students, schools and host families to make the experience positive for everyone involved. Being the coordinator also gives me an opportunity to get to know even more great kids and host families as well. In my mind the latter is the best part! It is an amazing way to share cultures. My husband and I now have another “daughter” and a “son” that we think the world of (no pun intended) and plan on being an important part of our lives for ever.”

If interested please contact Sandy Burgers via email at

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Sami Walter

Sami is a senior at East and the Online Co-Editor in Chief. She enjoys cuddling with cats, giggling with Vanessa Daves and eating grilled cheese sandwiches. Read Full »

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