With two empty rooms in their home, a heart for kids, and a passion to share and open up their home to others, Susan and Roger Wolff knew that hosting international students was a wonderful opportunity they couldn't pass up.
"A couple in our church gave our names to an organization that was looking for host families," Susan says. "They thought we would be ideal to host any student."
Sure enough, the experience was a joy for the Wolff family, who has hosted several international students over the years, each of them bringing a different experience. Some students have been very open and social, while others have been more reserved. Either way, it's been a delight for Susan and Roger.
"We feel we have gained knowledge of other countries' cultures and lifestyles," Susan says. "We also have learned that we are able to give love, care, and attention to students from around the world."
This fall, the Wolff family hosted James Teng, a Grade 9 student from China. Teng came to Canterbury through an organization called Hamden Edux, which facilitates culture exchange and academic growth for students around the world.
Teng specifically wanted to come to the United States because of the differences in education. He likes Chemistry class the best because he finds it interesting and challenging.
"Canterbury is great," Teng says. "They really pay attention to academics, which is important, but, also, there are activities like art and music. I even played on the tennis team, and it was quite fun."
Staying with the Wolff family has also been a good experience for Teng, and he says they made him feel very comfortable. They showed him around Fort Wayne, taking him to festivals and other events around the city.
"I'm quite happy here," Teng said.
The Wolff's hope their good experience with international exchange students will encourage others to consider being a host family.
"If you think you want to host a student, we feel you must have a heart to share your love, your home, and all you do," Susan says. "These students become your kids! If you have all of these things, give it a try."
This story is the first in a three-part series highlighting the International Student Program at Canterbury School. To learn more about International Admissions, click here.