Four years ago, Americana Homestay Host family Elizabeth Quaranta and David Claudio, along with daughters Emily and Catherine Quaranta, purchased a home on November 8th 2008, on East 205th by Lisbon Place to continue to offer International foreign exchange students their dream of living the American life in NYC while participating with the American family in their day to day activities.
The move into Norwood/Bedford Park from Kingsbridge was not an easy decision.
The family first shared their story with another Bronx newspaper and Channel 12 news when they were looking for a 10 unit building in Kingsbridge. However with the help of a Associate Broker Patty Moccia of Weichert Realtors who showed them countless homes in the Kingsbridge area, she introduced the couple to the quaint Norwood section of the Bronx where multi-family houses were more available for their price range.
The couple soon realized that a house, in a tree lined area, surrounded by other houses with little shops near-by is more of what the international students really wanted . After consulting with their current students at the time, the Americana Homestay family purchased the home and TODAY is happy to say that they certainly made the right move even though just a few weeks ago, one of the students did experience the negative side of Bronx and had her purse and gold earring taken when the student was walking home late at night. The incident prompt Elizabeth the idea of starting the East 205th block association for safety reasons.
In-spite of what happened, Elizabeth says “the move not only became a dream for international students, but it also allowed us to live our “American dream” too. Not only do we work a small business as a study abroad agency within this community, but we also are active around the area in regards to crime and drug watch, quality of life issues, and even joined the Community Board 7 on East 204th. This opportunity has opened up other doors as well. We are working on starting a non-profit program called NYC Bronx Abroad that will send Bronx high school student overseas for cultural exploration just like the students that we receive here.”
The Americana family now wants to share their experience in hosting students with other Norwood/Bedford Park Bronx families who want to participate in hosting international students from ages 16 to 99!
David says “Hosting foreign exchange students not only allows for cultural exchange, but also adds to the economic development of this Norwood/Bedford Park area. The students shop in the stores that are around this neighborhood and use the laundromat. Community wise, some students have volunteered with community greening projects which really makes them feel like part of the block!”
Americana Homestay welcomes new families who want to host whether in an apartment or in a house.
Benefits of hosting:
* The chance to meet students from all over the world
* Experiencing different cultures and traditions
* The opportunity to share your home country’s traditions and cultures
* Many organized activities
* An active and experienced local support team with Americana Homestay Host Service
* Prompt fortnightly payment to help with the cost of room and board.
Prospecting families should consider the following when making a decision.
1) Having a spare, clean furnished bedroom.
2) Willing to communicate with student in English day to day and share activities.
3) Provide breakfast and dinner.
4) Must live in the area of Norwood/Bedford Park.
Americana Homestay Host Service has been in business for over 10 years and incorporated in NY 2007.
The independent company administers service contracts with affiliated language schools throughout NYC while providing overseas program consultation.