For Jennifer Miller \u2014 an elementary school social studies and geography teacher in Jackson County, Indiana \u2014 the exchange student experience began well before she would become an educator. \u00a0 During high school, Jennifer met an exchange student from Germany that would quickly become a close friend. Looking back, she remembers how her early experiences with her foreign confidant opened her eyes to the world and its rich and diverse cultures. While attending college just a few years later, Jennifer met yet another exchange student \u2014 this time from Serbia, a country that was, at the time, in the thick of civil and cultural unrest. Even in early conversations with her, Jennifer recalls forming a keen understanding of the privileges she enjoyed as an American. \u201cThat always kept me aware of what was going on around the globe,\u201d she says. \u201cIt helped me appreciate how different life is here than it is in other places around the world.\u201d It\u2019s hard to say for certain if Jennifer\u2019s early experiences with foreign exchange fostered her interest in social studies and geography, but one thing is for sure: these friendships would undoubtedly influence her decision to later become a host mom, and eventually, an area representative for ISE. \u201c, I started looking into different organizations that would allow me to work with exchange students in a different capacity outside of teaching,\u201d she recalls. \u201cThat\u2019s ultimately what led me to ISE.\u201d Global Experience Comes Full Circle with Exchange Students Fast forward many years later, and Jennifer is now one of the most active and engaged members of the ISE family. Though her work with ISE as almost as diverse as the cultures of students\u2019 she has hosted, when asked what has been the most rewarding part of experiences with ISE, she doesn\u2019t hesitate with her response. \u201cOne of the biggest benefits is absolutely the personal learning experiences \u2014 not only for the student\u2019s we\u2019ve hosted as a family, but also my students that I work with personally,\u201d she says with pride, adding: \u201cLet\u2019s say there\u2019s an exchange student from Brazil. The students can read about it in a textbook, sure\u2026 or they can spend a day actually interacting with someone from Brazil, or Skype with previous students currently back in their home country.\u201d For Jennifer, the educational impact of foreign cultural exchange is obvious: the opportunity to engage with the lived experiences of teens around the world. Even as students are virtually a single click away from the world thanks to social media and the internet, genuine connection with people from other countries is incomparable. \u201cLearning firsthand just makes things much more meaning to 11 and 12-year-olds \u2014 it\u2019s so much more engaging than reading and learning about in a textbook, or listening to a teacher talk about it,\u201d she says, referring to the lessons she\u2019s taught in her classroom over the past few years. Bringing the Globe to the Classroom And it\u2019s not just the exchange students who Jennifer hosts that get to experience the wider world \u2014 it\u2019s Jennifer, too. Every year, Jennifer jet sets to a new country as part of an annual ISE-hosted trip specifically for area representatives. Recently, Jennifer spent over a week in Rome, visiting destinations that most would only have the opportunity to see on postcards. And in true form, Jennifer didn\u2019t miss an opportunity to turn her trip into an educational experience for her students back home. After dialing into a Skype call with her classroom in Indiana, Jennifer gave an impromptu video tour of the Colosseum\u2026 the perfect culmination of their ancient Rome history lesson Jennifer had strategically planned to coincide with the trip. \u201cI don\u2019t think there are too many sixth graders that can say they talked to their teacher while they were walking around inside of the Roman Colosseum, especially while they were learning about ancient Rome,\u201d Jennifer laughs. To this day, Jennifer\u2019s passion and dedication to the global mission of ISE haven\u2019t faded. As an area representative, Jennifer continues to spread the word about the myriad educational benefits of international exchange \u2014 especially to school administrators that have yet to truly consider the impact foreign students have on their school\u2019s learning opportunities. \u201cFor any school, the benefit would be the strong academic background that our exchange students bring along with them,\u201d she emphasizes. \u201cThe different perspectives that they bring to the classroom is also a huge benefit. It challenges the students around them, leads to some really incredible discussions, and it brings in different viewpoints that just wouldn\u2019t be there if the students weren\u2019t part of the high school.\u201d We invite you to read more about what it is like to work with us. If you have specific questions about the area representative role, check out our Area Representative FAQ page.. Still on the fence? Complete our Area Representative interest form and one of our regional managers will get in touch with you to answer your questions and to help you get started. In addition to working in the student exchange industry, we like to encourage everyone to explore the option of becoming a volunteer host family to host an exchange student.