Ellen Sauders. That was back in 1988, when Ellen and her family were living in Rockwood, MD. They have since that time been a host family to four different students.

Ellen’s daughter Emily went to live in Fukui, Japan for one year. Remember, this was a time when cell phones and the internet were in their infancy.   Contact with her daughter was sparing but Ellen felt a since of security knowing that her daughter was surrounded not only by the love of the host family, but also the love of Rotary International.

In exchange for Emily going to Japan, Ellen and her husband had an extra bed in the house and decided to take their first foreign exchange student as well. Her name was Lele Bressen from Bariloche, Argentina. Ellen has many poignant memories of the time that her family spent with Lele. Ellen taught Lele how to sew and play the guitar.

Ellen’s second foreign exchange student was Ema Kato from Nagoya, Japan. Not only was Ema a foreign exchange student, but she also decided to go to college in the US.   Ema attended Seton Hill College and spent her summers with the Saunders. Ellen’s family had the great fortune of being asked to visit Ema and her family in Japan.

Ellen and her family then moved to Latrobe where they continued to be a host family. Their second daughter, Sarah, decided that she would also like to be a foreign exchange student, and traveled to Belle Ville, Argentina. During that time Ellen hosted Rodolfo Orrego from Valpariso, Chile.

Last, but not least, Ellen’s son Noah also became a foreign exchange student, and decided to spend his time in Pisek , the Czech Republic.

Ellen feels that all of these wonderful people are her family and they have enriched her families’ lives. Ellen can’t speak highly enough about the Rotary Club’s Foreign Exchange model and feels that it is exceptional. Ellen felt the utmost confidence to entrust her children to this wonderful organization.

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