Milpitas Family Shares Experience Hosting Brazilian Youth

A Milpitas family shares the challenges and benefits of hosting an exchange student.


Students from around the globe visit Milpitas each year through the Lions Club International Youth Exchange Program.

 Nearly through the program this summer, with two of them staying with host families in Milpitas.

Milpitas residents Wayne and Christina Tindall have hosted two Brazilian exchange students over the last year with their 15-year-old daughter, Shelby, and 17-year-old son, Lucas. Débora Silva, 17, of Caraguatatuba, Brazil, stayed with the family in the summer of 2011, and their most recent exchange student, .

In an attempt to offer potential Youth exchange participants an idea of what to expect, Patch asked the Tindall family about their host-parenting experiences.

Here’s what the family had to say:

Milpitas Patch: Why did you want to host an exchange student? And how did you become involved with the Lions Club exchange program?

Tindall family: We thought it would be a great experience as a family to host a student from another country. Shelby’s classmate’s mom, Marie Leon, mentioned the program to us last year and we immediately signed up to host. We would love to host again, but it all depends on what’s going on at the time.  

Patch: How has bringing an exchange student into your home benefited your children and family?  

Tindall: I think it’s been a positive experience for all. We all get an insight into how things are different, but yet similar, with teenagers and families in different parts of the world.

Patch: What should potential host parents consider before deciding to take on an exchange student?  

Tindall: Be sure you have the time to devote. There is also a cost and time factor to be considered. Both Wayne and I take our vacation during the time we have the exchange student so we can give the student the best opportunity to experience Northern California. We try to plan excursions that visitors would want to experience, while keeping in mind our own expenses and the student’s expenses.

Patch: Was hosting an exchange student easier the second time around?  

Tindall: Parenting has been about the same. Each student has a different personality, but they were both very easy going young ladies. But I think we were more at ease the second time.

Patch: What's the best part of hosting an exchange student?  

Tindall: Seeing the excitement on the face of the exchange student when they are seeing/experiencing things for the first time.

Patch: Is your daughter, Shelby, interested in traveling to Brazil through an exchange program?

Tindall: Shelby would definitely love to visit Brazil one day in the near future.  I would feel very at peace if she were able to stay with Débora or Carina.

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