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He wouldn’t want to exchange this cultural experience with anyone

Kidsday reporter Vincent Colagrande of Selden with exchange

Kidsday reporter Vincent Colagrande of Selden with exchange student Amy, left, and Kaitlyn, his sister. Credit: Colagrande family

I am 10 years old, and since I was 4 I have had exchange students stay at my home.

The first student was Marta. She was from Spain.

The second was David from South Korea.

The third was Tracy from China.

The fourth student was Amanda from Germany.

The fifth student was Lulu from Hong Kong and Italy.

The sixth student was Amy from China.

I learned so many different things from all of them. I learned to speak a little of their language. When we would celebrate Christmas or any other holiday, they would tell me how it was different from theirs. They also brought me money from their country to show me the difference. Another thing that I liked was they would make different foods from their country for us to try.

This all started when my sister, Kaitlyn, went to Our Savior New American School in Centereach, where the kids came from all over the world. She asked my parents if we could take in exchange students and we did! My sister became such good friends with Marta that she is going to visit her in Spain soon. We did it for six or seven years. My sister is in college now so we are taking a break, but I hope we are getting another student next year.

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