By Meredith McCulloch
The Bedford Rotary Club is seeking families to host Stephane Todeschini, an exchange student from France, for 3-4 months in the upcoming school year. Stephane is a 17-year-old boy from the Savoie region of France who would be a senior at Bedford High School. Securing commitments soon is vital because Stephane cannot apply for a visa until his host families are determined, explains Pete Colgan President of the Rotary Club.
The hosts would provide room, board, and a welcoming home. Stephane would bring to his host families a unique opportunity to get to know a teenager from a different country and culture. Staying with different families during the year provides a broader view of Americans life to the students.
In his application to be an exchange student Stephane writes, “I am a very open-minded person. I love to talk and to meet people. I think I am generous and sensitive. I really want to understand the culture and would appreciate the melting pot.” Stephane was in the United States once before on an 8th grade field trip. He went to Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York. Now he wants to return for a longer stay.
Colgan and his wife Susan hosted a student from Finland this past year. Reflecting on the experience, Colgan wrote,” Our most recent USA bound exchange student, Kimmo Kauppinen, just flew back to Finland this week. Susan and I were his first host family, and it was a wonderful experience. He changed many lives in Bedford beyond ours! I am certain that Stephane will do the same!”
The exchange of students sponsored by the Rotary Club goes both ways. Last year two Bedford students were in the exchange program, one to Japan and one to Ecuador.
Anyone interested in hosting or simply wanting to learn more should contact Pete Colgan at 781-275-7953 or at the Rotary Club website www.bedfordmarotary.org. .
The Bedford Citizen