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U.S. OR BUST: Hodges returns home

July 24, 2013

Madisson Hodges, a Columbia City High School graduate, recently returned home from studying abroad in Mexico with the Rotary Club’s exchange program. Photo contributed

COLUMBIA CITY — It was a bittersweet departure for Rotary Club outgoing exchange student Madisson Hodges — both when she left the U.S. for Mexico and when she left Mexico to come back to the U.S.

Hodges spent almost a year as an exchange student in Mexico as part of the Rotary Club’s program to offer studies abroad to local students.

When she shared her anticipation in leaving for the foreign country, she was not the least bit intimidated about the new surroundings even though she didn’t speak Spanish.

However, being separated from her family was the dark cloud that hung over her head as the recent Columbia City High School graduate prepared to leave town last August.

“My mom was torn up about me being gone for so long,” Hodges said. “It was hard for me too, but at the same time I was excited about the opportunity to go.”

While Hodges was in Mexico, she was connected to two host families who took her in not just as a house guest, but as another family member.
As Hodges described her host family, words such as “sister” and “mom” depict the close bond formed between exchange student and host family.

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