Thank you ITD for creating this project that gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, [to] get on my first plane, and to form so many incredibly strong bonds that I know will last a lifetime.
Norway Youth Leadership participant
Host Family Experience

For Wendy and John Sinton, an engaging life includes traveling, living abroad, and for Wendy, a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer. “We are very interested in learning about other cultures, other people, their views of the world, their politics and their views of America.” When a friend mentioned that she knew of people who needed a place to stay during their ITD course, the Sintons generously offered their home. “Our international experiences have been so enriching that we wanted to support others from other countries doing the same in their life.”

Their first homestay guests were two businesswomen from the Republic of Georgia. “We shared winter with the women, who had never lived with snow,” said Wendy. “We exchanged some cooking lessons, and we learned about the country of Georgia and how it fits into its region of the world. We also got to share their impressions of their "work" experiences here and of how American businesses work.” For Wendy, her favorite memory was wrapping up the women in all their extra winter hats, gloves, scarves and snow shoes and taking them out into the snow.

The success of the first stay led the Sintons to invite another pair of guests into their home: a pair of social service workers from North Ossetia, Russia. “We had fascinating visitors in both cases. We had really interesting conversations about our view of America and were able to draw them out about their real, not just polite, impressions of our country.”

The Sintons still stay in contact with their ITD guests, and take great pleasure in keeping up with the news about two countries that they had hardly known existed. Having the guests in their home was an “eye-opening, world-view expanding process that always seems to provide new and challenging ideas for all parties.”

If you are interested in adding your name to our list of dinner or homestay hosts, please contact Kaye Sherwood.