The Melvin family in Milford has welcomed a new high school student into their home this year as Bodine Deruijter of Holland joins them for the 2014-’15 school year. Deruijter, a 17-year-old from northwest Holland will be staying with the family until June as she has the opportunity to experience the American life while she attends school, plays sports and spends time with the Melvin family. Although Jamie, Nicki, Ally and Kate of the Melvin family will be ambassadors for the United States, teaching Bodine the every day challenges of American life, they are also looking forward to learning from Bodine as she shares her culture and experiences with them.
The opportunity to host an exchange student has always been something that the Melvin family wanted to do but after their daughter Kate went abroad this summer to Spain, they decided that now was the time to introduce some international flavor into their daily routine. Making sure that the exchange student would be a great match for their family, the family chose Bodine for several reasons including her age and similar interests to the Melvin sisters. Bodine is happy to be working on her understanding of the English language and culture during her stay.
“I want to improve my English and spend a year in another culture,” said Deruijter. “See how their experiences are at home.”
Just in the first week of classes at Milford High School, Bodine has already recognized the differences between schools in the Unites States and of those in Holland. More like a college curriculum, Bodine states that she only goes to school three hours per day and there are no sports or electives for students to join.
“In Holland it seems like we only go to school to be educated,” said Bodine. “ All of our sports are club sports outside of school.”
Nicki Melvin, mother of the family, has stated that the exchange student program has already brought their own family together. During week one they are making time for each other, having dinner together and learning more about each other’s every day experience.
“Normally, time gets away from us and with Bodine coming here we made it a rule that we would make time to become more of a family unit,” commented Nicki. “It has brought us closer, now it is a priority to slow down and appreciate our time together.”
Bodine is enjoying her time with a family, she shared that with her brother and sister out of the house and mother and father at work that it is nice to be a part of the Melvin family. “I like to do things with the family,” said Bodine. “I am learning a lot of nice things about them and I look forward to this year.”
Erin Windsor, local coordinator for the International Cultural Exchange Services, states that their are several other foreign exchange students that are prepared to join a family in the Greater Milford Area. In Delaware she has placed over 10 students in surrounding school districts. Although the school year has begun, the organization is still looking for interested families that want to join the cultural exchange program. Local families that are interested can contact Windsor at 302-725-7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.