Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Youkoso!
As our fall semester students wrap up their exchanges in the U.S., a new group of students is arriving for their 2018 spring semesters. We send our warmest welcome to all of you who are beginning your exchange adventure this semester. As you get settled in, we encourage you to get involved with your community right from the start so that you can make a good first impression and the most out of your cross-cultural learning experience. We are especially excited for you to build new, lifelong friendships, not to mention for you to get to know your host family, who we hope you will consider a "second family" for the rest of your life. Welcome to the U.S. and welcome to NWSE!


Kate from Czech Republic volunteering with her host sister over the holidays!

As many of you may know, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was observed on January 15th this year, is a day marked by volunteering in community service projects. We hope that many of you took the opportunity to volunteer at a project near you! We also want to encourage you to continue volunteering or participating in local community service projects. There's no better way to experience the best of America than to volunteer side by side with Americans who give their heart to their local communities.

There are many different ways that you can make a difference. In most communities, there are opportunities to volunteer at local food banks, animal shelters, retirement homes, public parks, environmental conservation organizations, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. We encourage you to ask your school counselors, teachers, host parents, and NWSE Area Coordinator about opportunities for you to give back.

We've also created a list of a few nationwide non-profit organizations and search engines with youth volunteering programs to help you get started in your search:


Student exchange is a truly life-changing experience that offers many students a chance to figure out who they are and what they want to become. To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we've asked past students and host families to share their stories with us about how their exchange experience shaped their lives.

We recently heard from Diego Martinez Treviño, who participated on our exchange program three years ago. We'd love to share his story with you:


"I was 17 years old when I decided to study abroad in high school. This decision has helped me grow not only in my personal life, but in my professional life. This exchange has brought to me great job opportunities thanks to the preparation and experiences I have been through. This exchange helped me become a more independent person and mature in different aspects, and on the other hand helped me appreciate my life more. I'm currently in my last semester of college and working in Mexico, where every day I am in contact with people from all around the world speaking English, and my exchange helped me master the language and be able to speak it without any problems."

Diego Andrés Martínez Treviño (Mexico, 2011-12)

If you're part of our alumni community, we'd love to hear from you and stay in touch! Share your story on our Facebook page or email us at nwse@nwse.com.


Start putting together a fun, creative, and informative video about your exchange year (or semester) so that you can share your stories and impressions with the NWSE community - and the world! Collect and edit videos, impressions and pictures of your exchange year and submit them to NWSE near the end of the year. Contest rules will be posted in the next newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy filming the memorable moments of how you are "(Ex)changing Your World" here in America during our 30th Anniversary Celebration!

To view past videos, visit our NWSE YouTube channel.

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Ryoga from Japan in snow for the first time!
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Louise from Germany being greeted by her host family for her spring semester exchange

Check out our latest blog articles for the month of January!


Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) is a quirky tradition in which an animal called a groundhog predicts the weather. Supposedly, if the groundhog sees its shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter. The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania.

Mardi Gras (Feb. 13), or "Fat Tuesday," is a cultural holiday particularly associated with New Orleans, Louisiana, where the day marks the last day of the Carnival season. The day is often celebrated with costumes, parades, and masquerade parties.

Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) is a cultural holiday that celebrates love. No one knows the origins of this tradition, but it started in medieval Europe and remains popular to this day. People celebrate it by exchanging cards, candy, or flowers with loved ones and friends.

The Lunar New Year (Feb. 16) is an annual 15-day festival that celebrates the New Year in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival. Many Asian American communities celebrate it with fireworks, parades, and dragon dances.


If you have any questions about the program, you're probably not the only one! We always welcome your program questions and suggestions, and we can post the answers for everyone in our next newsletter.

Contact us at nwse@nwse.com or (206) 527-0917 with any questions you have. All submitted questions and suggestions will be published anonymously.

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NorthWest Student Exchange
4530 Union Bay Pl NE, Suite 214
Seattle, WA  USA

Phone : (206) 527-0917
Email : nwse@nwse.com
Website : www.nwse.com

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NorthWest Student Exchange
4530 Union Bay Pl NE
Suite 214
Seattle, Washington 98105

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