Murrysville/Export Rotary Club seeks host families
While discussing the Murrysville-Export Youth Exchange program, Nick Dorsch recalls an it's-a-small-world-after-all moment he witnessed at a conference in Florida.
Impressed with her new friend's fluency with English, a Mexican student asked her Bolivian counterpart where she had learned to speak the language so well. “Mama Dorsch,” the girl replied.
The Mexican student was shocked. During her exchange-student stay in America, she, too, had learned English from “Mama Dorsch” — Dorsch's mother.
This upcoming school year will be the fifth that Nick and his wife, Tracy, will host a foreign student, and the program is looking for other families to welcome exchange students into their homes.
Tracey Dorsch said the program benefits the hosts, as well as the students.
“ (It) broadens your horizons,” she said. “You learn from them. You learn it's not about right or wrong.”
The program broadened her husband's perspective.
Nick Dorsch credits the program with shaping his life. As a child, his family hosted 17 different students, and he traveled to Germany as part of the program. After his return, he majored in international business in college and still stays in touch with his host families. He has returned to Germany for baptisms, weddings and other life events.
He said the program is a fabulous way to share new experiences, everything from different foods and holidays to the joy of seeing someone from Brazil in the snow for the first time. Those moments, he said, “are always neat.”
Bonnie Gerken, the inbound youth-exchange coordinator for the Rotary's southwest Pennsylvania district, said this year the club will host five students from Taiwan, Bolivia, Japan, Brazil and Germany. Each student will stay with two host families during the school year and then will have the opportunity to tour the America, with sights including Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and other notable destinations.
Gerken said participation in the program is an opportunity for understanding and peace and a way to accept different cultures.
“It's a simple philosophy,” she said, but it “takes a lot of hard work.”
Dave Rullo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Murrysville athlete runs obstacle course for charity — 7 times
- Murrysville could abandon sinking Twin Oaks Drive
- Murrysville accepts Sardis Park
- Home sale tied up with approval of Pucketa Watershed sewer