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YFU Blog - Recent stories about Youth for Understanding

Laura Wang & Frank Xu - Host Parents - New Jersey


Hosted a German Exchange Student

An Asian-European-American Connection

WangXuAsian-American host parents Laura Wang and Frank Xu of West Windsor, NJ are often times the object of second looks and double takes when out in public with their host son Fabian Stuermer-Heiber. A German “blonde and blue,” Fabian and his host brother Elliott tend to draw lots of attention when the family is out to dinner, at the movies, or simply shopping at the neighborhood grocery store. The family is taking the extra attention in stride, and Frank and Laura often tease Fabian for being their ‘lost European’ son.

When asked about the family’s unusual dynamic, Laura commented that Fabian quickly became accustomed to the life of Asian Americans: his chopstick skills are refined, he eats rice everyday, and he drinks his soup with loud slurps. Laura added, “We are one normal, happy family with two sons- one just looks a little different from the other…If we were asked to redo this whole thing, we would pick the same student and host him in the same way, except that maybe we could try to love him a little less so that the separation would not be too hard.”

A relatively new concept in the Asian American community, the trend of hosting international students is on the rise. These occasions offer students a unique window into multi-cultural American society.

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