Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Youkoso!

Message from our Executive Director

Welcome, everyone to NWSE's 31st year of cultural exchanges - and congratulations on beginning your long-awaited journey!

It takes dedicated and mature students to embark on an international exchange, not to mention your caring and welcoming host families who ultimately make this experience possible. With this letter I want to express our appreciation for all of you having chosen NWSE for your cultural exchange. We are honored that you are beginning this life-changing adventure together with us!

Though the new and challenging first few weeks of school may prove to be a little stressful, adjusting to a new school, and a new (host) family, language, and culture is a challenge, we are confident that you will successfully meet, as your predecessors did! Here are a few tips that successful former exchange students want to share with you, to help you succeed:

  1. Introduce yourself - don't wait for someone else to say hello.
  2. Get involved in a school sport or other activity - that's the best way to make friends
  3. Keep trying - you may not meet your new best friend on the first day of school, but with time, you will eventually find your circle.

In case you ever feel homesick, and just to guarantee great personal relationships, here are some more tried-and-true tips to help:

  1. Communicate openly and often with your host family and NWSE Area Coordinator.
  2. Limit your communication with family and friends at home to one hour per week.
  3. Participate actively in your host family's daily life and get involved in your school community.
  4. Talk to people in person, not just over your electronic devices!

Building new relationships takes some work (...see 7 points above). But this work really pays off when you commit to it and do it. This "work," that YOU do, is the core of making your exchange a success.

Send us your pictures and videos via our Facebook page, Instagram, or email. Your positive experiences, images and impressions motivate other students and families to participate in student exchange - the best international diplomacy on the planet! Plan ahead for our picture and video contests this year. Use your phones for something culturally constructive and valuable - and be eligible to win great prizes!

Re-read and follow the NWSE rules in your application and handbook. Remember: Successful students follow those rules closely. We want each student to successfully complete the exchange.

Congratulations again on your arrival and beginning your exchange. Remember that there is a great network of people here at NWSE to contact at any time for anything (...and, yes, we also absolutely LOVE getting good news of your activities and accomplishments as the exchange progresses)!

Jeff Laband
Executive Director, NorthWest Student Exchange

Our Newest Arrivals
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Bilim from Kyrgyzstan arriving in Texas
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Gonzalo from Spain with his new host family in Florida
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Kaori from Japan meeting her family in Texas
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Merle from Germany meeting her host dad in Texas

Send us your photos at nwse@nwse.com or use #nwse or #nwse_exchange when you post your photos and stories on social media.

Alumni Feature: Maret from Germany


We are happy to introduce one of our most recent returnees from the 2017-2018 year. Maret spent a beautiful fall semester in Arlington, Virginia. This is how she sums up her experience:

"Throughout my stay, I made many great friends, and it felt like I have known them forever. By showing me their favorite places, hanging out with them and inviting me to activities, like bonfires and football games, we all made great memories together.

I'm very grateful for all the unforgettable moments and people, who made me feel at home. Now, as I got used to my life in Germany again, I'm looking back at the most amazing and unforgettable five months of my life, and if someone handed me a flight ticket back to Arlington, I would take it right away!"

Read Maret's whole story on our website and find out what other Alumni had to say about their time abroad.

NWSE in the News


We love seeing our exchange students making a big impact in their host communities. In some cases, they even get a feature in the local newspaper! Check out this recent article in The Idaho World, which features our 2017-18 student Rogelio Trevino de la Garza, from Monterrey, Mexico. We are very proud of Rogelio and all our exchange students to make such positive difference in the lives of their host families and communities.

Read the article here: Host an Exchange Student, by Tracy Koslosky

2018/19 Exchange Student Excursions

NWSE-affiliated organizations are offering great excursions to 2018/19 exchange students! Click the flyer links below for more information.

Please note that the below excursions are offered solely under the auspices of the program providers listed on the linked flyers, which operate and manage their programs independently of NWSE. NWSE assumes no responsibility or liability for program outcome. In previous years, students have enjoyed participating in appropriate, short-term cultural programs outside the auspices of NWSE.

Dates: February 21 - 26, 2019

What's Included: 5 Nights at a beautiful Southern California Hotel, Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Hollywood, Beach, and more. Fully chaperoned by experienced, 30 year veteran group coordinators.

View Flyer

ECO Hawaii and ECO Oregon Programs 2019
ECO Hawaii: March 23 - 30, 2019
ECO Oregon: March 24 - 31, 2019

What's Included: 8 day program, 5 days of Environmental Activities and Excursions, Live with a Volunteer Host Family, Farewell Dinner and Graduation Ceremony, ECO Certificate of Completion

View Flyer

Dates: April 30 - May 5, 2019

What's Included: 5 nights hotel stays (quad occupancy), Transportation to/from airport, TWO Broadway Shows. Fully chaperoned by experienced 27 year veteran group coordinators

Visits to: Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MUCH more!

View Flyer

Holidays and Cultural Events

Rosh Hashanah (sundown on Sept. 9 to sundown on Sept. 11) marks the beginning of the New Year in the Jewish calendar. It is often celebrated by eating apples and honey for a sweet new year.

Celebration of Ganesha (Sept 12), a Hindu holiday which lasts around 10 days. The elephant-headed Hindu God is praised and given offerings during this time.

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) corresponds with Mexican Independence Day.

Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement(sundown on Sept. 18 to sundown on Sept. 19) is a Jewish holiday for fasting and self-reflection.

Ashura (Sept. 20 to 21) is a major Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians.

The Fall Equinox (Sept. 22) marks the beginning of the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, the Sun is exactly above the equator, and daytime and nighttimeare the same length.

Indigenous Peoples' Day / Columbus Day (Oct. 8) is a controversial U.S. federal holiday originally intended to commemorate the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Many U.S. cities and states have replaced it with a holiday to celebrate Native Americans, who suffered greatly as a result of Columbus's voyages.

Dussehra (Oct 19) marks the beginning of a ten-day festival celebrated by Hindus to recognize Rama's victory over evil.

We want to hear from you!

In each newsletter edition, we want to feature a story, news piece, or profile about you! Send your photos and stories to nwse@nwse.com or post them on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #nwse or #nwse_exchange.

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

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

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4530 Union Bay Pl NE
Suite 214
Seattle, Washington 98105

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