United Studies Local Coordinator Spotlight - Heather Weir

04 June 2020

Meet Heather Weir, our Local Coordinator for the month of June!

HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED AS A LOCAL COORDINATOR WITH UNITED STUDIES?

I worked with another exchange organization for six years and when I moved to Virginia I was alone in my efforts.  Upon moving to Warrenton I met High School Program Director Rene Brown and saw how great a community of coordinators could be.  I joined United studies to be part of a great team.  


YOU’VE BEEN A LOCAL COORDINATOR FOR SEVERAL YEARS. WHY DO YOU LIKE BEING A LOCAL COORDINATOR?  WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS AS A LOCAL COORDINATOR?

I really like learning from the students and the host families.  I've met some of the greatest families that I would never otherwise been in touch with. The students help me see differently.  I'm more open to new things and trying new things.  Some of the best times have been seeing the students participate in something that is totally foreign to them like their first week of school, seeing the school for the first time,  finding their favorite fast food,   going to the school dances and their first football games where they see how much school spirit there is.    Challenges come and go.  I hate the conflict that some kids have with their host families.  Finding new families is always challenging if a student needs to be moved for one reason or another.   Something I find hard to do is to be partial in my judgements.





YOU’VE HOSTED MANY EXCHANGE STUDENTS OVER THE YEARS. WHY DO YOU LIKE HOSTING?  WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES AS A HOST FAMILY?

I love that I have family across the world.   I love the dynamic that a teenager brings into the family.  I love the challenge of learning another's idiosyncrasies  and adapting to them and vice versa.  I like the growth that I see in the kids that come into my home.  I love the interaction I get from the student and my own children.  some of the best moments are when I find them reading stories to my kids or teaching them how to do something.   My son learned the Nay Nay song and Dance with Moon from South Korea.  It was hilarious.  I had two kids get into and learn how to play roller hockey because of Pablo from Spain.  






TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF UNITED STUDIES.

I have 4 kids.  I started with exchange so I could add to my growing families income when I had my first child and came home from work.  I have lived in 3 states doing student exchange.  I like to paint and sew and quilt and craft and read.  Finding the time to do any of those things is almost impossible with my family and my dad who is living with us.   I've been married for 13 years and love my hubby very much.  


WHY SHOULD SOMEONE BECOME A LOCAL COORDINATOR WITH UNITED STUDIES?  DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW LOCAL COORDINATORS? 

If you like working with teenagers and people this is the job for you.  If you don't it's not.   If you like to solve problems and learn from people this is for you,  if not.  If you like to learn about new cultures and experience new things this is for you. If your set and don't need to learn more don't do this.   If you want to open your heart to others and become invested in anothers' future other than your own kids this may be for you. If you want to have friends and family all around the world this is definitely for you!



Local Coordinators are one of the most important members of the United Studies team! If you like working with young people, making connections in your community, and desire to enrich exchange student lives and American host families, we have the right position for you!

United Studies has opportunities in local communities all across the United States! For more information visit our WEBSITE or send an email to ayp@unitedstudies.org to speak to a member of our staff!

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