Lawrenceburg: A Host to International Students

Lawrenceburg, being a small town, isn’t always thought of as an international destination.  But, with great schools and great community, high school students from around the world are making Lawrenceburg their temporary home through the EducationFirst High School Exchange Year program.  Students in the program get to live with select families around the nation, including Lawrenceburg, for an entire year to learn American culture, teaching practices, and more.

Joe and Angela Michelotti along with their children, Anthony and Rose, are one of these families hosting two exchange students for the year.  After hearing the call that families were needed to help host students, they decided to host students as a way to help expand not only their horizons but also of their children.  “We thought it would be a really good way for our children to learn other cultures,” Angela said.

Anthony and Rose also love having exchange students at their house.  “We’ve had older brothers and sisters, but they left when we were younger,” Rose said. “It’s like having them back.  It’s just like family.”

Francesca Passalaqua and Wenyu Lin are the two foreign exchange students at the Michelotti’s house.  Francesca, who is 15 and from Italy, said that it was hard originally to adjust, missing her family and friends from home.  But after a short time, she got to know her new family, and she is having a great time.

Wenyu, who is 16 and from Germany, originally was placed in a house in Frankfort.  However, he was moved to the Michelotti’s house recently.  He said, about his new house family, “They basically treat me like their own child.”

To host an exchange student, local international exchange coordinators help match a student to a family.  Ron and Karen Stanfield helped place both Francesca and Wenyu through the EF program.  They said that they also help with enrolling the students in the local high school and stay in contact with the family to make sure everything is going well.

The Stanfields also said that there are still students in need of a host family in Lawrenceburg.  If you are interested in hosting an exchange student, contact the Stanfields at

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Posted in Family & Community, School & Education.

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