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Josh and Andrea Owens become host parents for LWC student

By Andrea Owens and Sabine Eastham

Mayu Satoh, an international student from Tokyo, Japan, joined the Lindsey Wilson College in August 2019, to study RTSM (Recreation Tourism Sports Management) and to play on the women's soccer team. To her great joy, she was paired with Josh and Andrea Owens, who are members of the extensive international host family program at the college. "We are thrilled to be host parents to Mayu and have truly enjoyed learning of her Japanese heritage and exposing her to American culture" says Andrea Owens. Mayu describes what it means to her to have a host family: "I think the International Student Programs at Lindsey Wilson College is giving us great opportunities. My host family is very kind; they always worry about me and help me. They came to my soccer games and took me to many places; like restaurants and church. I am so appreciative of my host family and the Lindsey Wilson College International program."

On Monday, December 16, 2019, the Owens took out Mayu and three of her friends to "The Black Stallion" for Christmas dinner.

All of the girls ordered their favorite American fare, a cheeseburger with fries!

"We are fortunate to have such a fantastic network of local host families. When area families get involved with our international students, they become part of a ripple effect, "says Sabine Eastham, Director of the International Student Programs. "They play a big part in introducing international students to American life. Sharing local and family traditions with international students will help them understand what America is all about. They are young, they are here in Columbia, and they are eager to learn about American life beyond the college campus."

Host families do not house international students. Rather they agree to have regular contact with the students throughout the school year. It usually involves having them to your house a few times a year for a meal or special event and checking in on them periodically to make sure they are adjusting to American life," she said. "When our college's international students return to their home country, they will tell their family all about America and what they have found here in Columbia with their host family."

For more information about LWC's international student host family program, contact Sabine Eastham at or 270-384-8236.

This story was posted on 2019-12-20 08:17:24
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Christmas Dinner with International Students

2019-12-20 - Columbia, KY - Photo by an innocent bystander.
Pictured from left to right: Tamaki Sawada (Tokyo/Japan), Marie Kurate (Soto/Japan), Mikoto Yamada (Yokohama/Japan), Andrea and Josh Owens with their host daughter Mayu Sotoh (Tokyo/Japan)

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