The Nettles family

Katie and Jimmy Nettles from Alabama decided to host foreign exchange student Felix from Germany. Katie tells us about the positive impact hosting has had on her family, especially on her kids.

“It has given my boys the opportunity to have a big brother.”

Some friends of ours had hosted, and we saw what incredible things it had done for them as a family. At first we wondered how well an exchange student would fit into our lives. We're busy and didn't know if we'd have time for another child. But as soon as we met Felix, we had no reservations at all. He instantly became one of us.

Felix is really easy going like us and we have a lot of the same interests. He gets involved in our everyday life, things like joining us for family dinners or helping the boys with their homework. They ride their bikes, play catch outside and read together at the end of the day.

“It's amazing to see their faces light up when they're together.”

My boys really like making movies and Felix has taught them different things with his camera and filming software. He's introduced them to some really neat techniques. It's amazing to see their faces light up when they're together.

This year has been great because it allowed us to learn about German culture and language, but it's also allowed us to connect to our own culture in a new way. Exchange has brought us together as a family and has given my young boys an older brother.

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© EF Education First 2011-2022. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.