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I am starting celiac disease awareness month off with a post about an exchange student with celiac disease seeking a host family. Every year, the agencies that place exchange students in the United States have a number of students diagnosed with celiac disease. These students require extra planning to ensure their dietary needs can be managed while attending high school.

My family and I have hosted two exchange students, one with celiac disease and one without and find it to be a very rewarding experience. This particular student, Asia, is from Italy and is working with the Council On International Educational Exchange (CIEE). She is scheduled to arrive in August/September and will attend high school for the full school year (10 months).

Asia is used to preparing her own gluten-free food, but of course it would be much easier if she could live with a family who follows the same type of diet. CIEE needs to place Asia with a family who understands her dietary needs and could fully support her during her exchange program.

In additional to English, Asia speaks four languages, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. She is a lover of sports and very athletic. In her spare time, she volunteers at a hospice facility and has a sister and brother.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about our program and how they can host Asia for the 2017-18 school year please contact Megan at 207-553-4258 or medwards@ciee.org for more information.


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