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The History of 汤姆, Lilka 和 Cultural Homestay International

The history of 气 starts with the story of 汤姆 和 Lilka Areton. 汤姆, 气联合创始人(与Lilka), arrived in the United States from Czechoslovakia in October 1968 – following the August 21st, 1968 military invasion of his homel和 by the Soviet Union’s Red Army. 虽然汤姆是在布拉迪斯拉发出生长大的, 现在斯洛伐克共和国的首都, he maintains that he always thought of himself as an American, 和 dreamed that someday he would come here 和 raise his family in the United States. 他就读于布拉迪斯拉发的科美纽斯大学, 和, 在纽约着陆后, 就读于纽约大学. In 1970, 汤姆和他的新娘莉卡搬到了加利福尼亚, where 汤姆 enrolled at Golden Gate University 和 San Francisco Law School.

Lilka was born in Brooklyn 和 raised in 汤姆s River, New Jersey. 汤姆 和 Lilka met at an International Cafe in the heart of Manhattan, 他在哪里用他的诗歌和歌曲迷住了她. 莉卡在欧洲旅行了一年,参加了美国大学. C. Berkeley 和 Bank Street College of Education in New York 和 had volunteered for two years in the Peace Corps in Peru, 在那里教授和指导一个识字项目. 当Lilka回到家, she decided she would like to start a student exchange program as a great way to bring about a better underst和ing, 世界各国人民之间的宽容和友谊. 她感到国民的态度发生了深刻的变化, 尤其是在年轻学生中, would eventually bring positive changes in the whole world. 汤姆 enthusiastically applauded Lilka’s vision 和 joined her wholeheartedly in this quest.

A year after 他们 met, 他们 visited Lilka’s mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. 被金州的美景迷住了, 他们, 太, migrated to Northern California where 他们 raised their three daughters. Some years later 他们 both found themselves working for an international student exchange organization. Lilka became their Area Administrator for San Francisco North 和 eventually talked 汤姆 into teaching a group of 日本ese high school students. 汤姆爱上了这些学生, 和 became inspired by the profound effect a short homestay could have not only on the overseas students but also on their American host families. 两年之后, 汤姆 applied 和 became Lilka’s boss as the Director of the Northern California programs. 经过四年的学生交换工作, 他们 learned a great deal about homestays 和 what was essential in running an effective program. They both came to believe that a homestay organization needed to be non-profit 和 that the job of Teacher/Coordinator should be shared by two people, 不仅仅是一个. 因为他们的公司拒绝做出这些改变, 汤姆和莉卡决定开始他们自己的交换计划, 采用这些和其他必要的改进. (i.e. 一个全职的,全年工作人员,拥有自己的教科书等.)

On November 1st, 1980, 汤姆 和 Lilka opened “California Homestay Institute.” (They never dreamed their small organization would grow beyond the borders of California.) Breaking into the student exchange market would prove to be more difficult than either 汤姆 or Lilka had anticipated. 日本, clearly the leading country in student exchanges at that time, 气从哪里开始是合理的呢. 汤姆多次到日本去, meeting with various dignitaries trying to win the trust that is so difficult to acquire when the cultural chasm is so wide.

Mr. 学者Kurahashi, president of Tokyo-based ISA (International Student Advisers), 是第一个对气有信心的人. In the spring of 1981, 200 日本ese ISA students participated in 气’s first Homestay program. The students were divided between Los Angeles (where 汤姆 was the administrator) 和 N. 加州(Lilka是那里的管理员). This began a lifelong friendship with the Kurahashi family 和 ISA.

In 1983, when the 日本ese organizations begged 气 to open up programs in the Pacific Northwest, 气成为了“国际文化寄宿家庭”,保留其“气”缩写. Prior to the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991, 气 had worked exclusively with 日本. 战争结束后, 然而, 气 began exp和ing its bet36365体育网站 Program for high schoolers to other countries around the world. This necessitated another name change 和 气 became what it is today “Cultural Homestay International.气还扩大了项目的种类. The United States Department of State designated 气 for seven exchange visa programs. 其中之一就是实习培训项目, which gives foreign university graduates an opportunity to train in American companies or hotels for up to 18 months to learn new skills, 他们把什么带回自己的国家. 其中一个最受欢迎的节目是工作 & 旅行, which allows thous和s of overseas college students a chance to hone their English skills in summer jobs 和 sightsee around the U.S. 气 also became designated to operate a Camp Counselor course for youth leaders 和 the 非盟对 child care program. 气 sends American students on a variety of overseas programs, as well. At least 3,000 students 和 host families have participated in 气’s homestays abroad. The latest offering from the outbound department is “世界探险家” (WE). This inexpensive travel program offers Americans a unique chance to truly immerse themselves in another culture by teaching their overseas hosting family conversational English 15 hours per week in their home in exchange for room 和 board.

It has been over 35 years since 汤姆 和 Lilka risked everything 他们 had 和 embarked on their dream of bringing people together to make our world a better place for all the children, 孙子, 以及未来的一代. 经历了地缘政治的起起落落, through economic rollercoasters; through bureaucratic red tape 和 through 太 many other challenges to mention, 勇敢的气破冰者, 汤姆和莉卡还在掌舵, 犁向前, 不再害怕, 打破无知和偏见的坚冰, 留下一条自由开放的通道…

It is 汤姆 和 Lilka’s continued hope that the feelings of friendship 和 goodwill which 气’s students, host families 和 host businesses have developed for each other will continue as a positive force in our world for many decades to come.