Foreign exchange student in South Milwaukee in need of new home

NOW: Foreign exchange student in South Milwaukee in need of new home

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A foreign exchange student in South Milwaukee is in urgent need of a new home.

Peng has been a sophomore at South Milwaukee High School this school year.

Her American nickname is Pearl.

She’s developed friendships, including with the school’s other foreign exchange student, Anita Faur, but Pearl’s host family is dealing with an emergency and they’re no longer able to have Pearl.

Anita is from Romania.

“[Pearl] always is nice to me and she’s nice to everybody,” she said.

Kerry Jude with Greenheart Exchange, the non-profit organization that’s brought over 15 foreign exchange students to southeast Wisconsin this year, is working to find Pearl a new home.

She hopes it’s in South Milwaukee so Pearl doesn’t have to change schools midyear.

“It’s amazing how people tend to step up in cases of emergency,” Jude said. “Our altruistic side really comes into focus.”

Hosts go through an application process that includes background checks and a home inspection.

Anita’s host family is so happy they did it.

“She’s that missing piece of the puzzle we never knew was missing,” said Shannon Eckert, who's hosted Anita since August. “Just having another culture in the house and how they do things and how we do things and then we just kind of mesh them together.”

Anita says she came here to find her version of the American dream.

Pearl too - she’s an A student and loves being in drama club.

Jude says hosting is immensely valuable, not just to the students but to their American family as well.

“You really do get to build a bond that in some cases is a lifelong bond,” she said. “I currently work with another coordinator on my team who hosted a young lady 24 years ago. They regularly visit her in France.”

If Pearl can’t find a host family in South Milwaukee, Jude hopes to place her in southeast Wisconsin so she doesn’t have to go back to Taiwan.

If you'd like to learn more about hosting, click here:

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