School Has Begun!

The first few weeks of school will be exciting - but also perhaps a little stressful. Here are two recommendations to help things go smoothly: (1) be curious and ask lots of questions and (2) reach out when you're having trouble. We recommend doing so by phone or in person. Communicate directly with people you know who can help! Your host family, school counselor, teachers, NWSE Coordinators, and NWSE's main office are here to help you with any questions or concerns you have.

Join Our NWSE Facebook Group!

Attention students and families: Join NWSE's 2017-18 Facebook group today to connect with other exchange students and families, share photos from your exchange, and get important NWSE updates and announcements!

Join the "NorthWest Student Exchange: Class of 2017-18" Facebook group!

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Alice from France and her host sister ready for their first day of school
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Seira from Japan and Apichok from Thailand on their first day of school
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Katerina from the Czech Republic at Friday night football
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Zdenek from the Czech Republic going to homecoming
Meet Our Staff Members!
Each month, you will have the opportunity to read about two of the hardworking and dedicated members of the NWSE staff. Meet Arabelle and Ayano!
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Arabelle Liepold's new role at NWSE is as Community Relations Manager. She also continues to serve as International Program Coordinator for several direct-placement students, primarily from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In addition, she is now developing NWSE's Alumni Outreach and Community Relations programs. She was born and raised in Germany and relocated from Berlin to Seattle in 2014. She studied in Constance, Germany, and Sydney, Australia, and has a Master's degree in English and American Literature and Media Studies. She joined NWSE's team in June 2016. Having moved across the "Big Pond" herself, she is excited to build bridges across cultures and help our students and families make their time together an unforgettable and rewarding experience.
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Ayano Hamao is an International Program Coordinator for students from Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand, Switzerland, and Spain, as well as for American students going abroad to Japan. She was born and raised in Japan and came to Seattle to study. Upon finishing her program with a B.A. in Environmental Science, she joined NWSE, and we are glad she did! Ayano is passionate about international education because it can broaden one's world view and provide unique experiences that stay with students for the rest of their lives. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching Japanese and mathematics at a local Japanese international school.
NWSE Contests

Throughout this, NWSE's 30th year, we will organize fun video and photo contests for students and host families with cool prizes! Start filming now to enter your great photos and videos in our upcoming contests:

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Photo Contest: NWSE invites our exchange students to submit a photo of you and your Halloween pumpkin that you carved to compete for prizes. Contest rules and prizes will be included in early October's newsletter.

NWSE 30th Anniversary Video Campaign: Share your exchange stories and experiences with the world! This spring, submit a short video showcasing memorable moments from throughout your exchange in America. If you have't done so, start recording today! Check out our YouTube channel for videos from last year - and get inspired! Prizes, deadlines and other video campaign details to be announced soon.

Holidays and Cultural Events

Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 20-21) marks the beginning of the new year in the Jewish calendar. Many people celebrate by eating apples and honey for a sweet new year.

Yom Kippur (Sept. 29-30) or Day of Atonement is a holiday for fasting and self-reflection. Following the moon, traditionally all Jewish holidays begin at sundown and last until the next sundown.

Columbus Day (Oct. 9) is a federal holiday that celebrates the explorations of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. In recent decades, the holiday has become controversial and many states have replaced it with a holiday to celebrate Native Americans and other indigenous peoples.

Diwali (Oct. 19) is a festival of lights that marks the beginning of the new year for Hindus. At the new moon, lamps are placed in homes and businesses to bring good fortune to the new year. Diwali is also celebrated in different ways by other religious groups.

Halloween (Oct. 31) is a popular holiday celebrated by wearing spooky or funny costumes, going to haunted houses, telling ghost stories, going "trick-or-treating" for candy, and making "jack-o'-lanterns" (pumpkins carved with a design and lit with candles).

Become an NWSE Area Coordinator!

Attention Host Parents: If you enjoy working with international youth, staying in touch with the international community, and promoting international understanding and friendships, please consider becoming an Area Coordinator for NWSE. ACs help recruit great host families for periods of a few weeks up to an entire school year. Register online or email with a brief note letting us know you're interested in becoming an AC. We look forward to talking with you!

We want to hear from you!

In each newsletter, we want to feature a story, news piece, or profile about one of you! Send your photos and stories to

Remember to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to find program photos, student videos, news articles, contests, NWSE announcements, and more!

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

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

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