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Room for one More? Gluten Free Exchange Student from Austria looking for an Opportunity in the US

Posted Mar 19 2012 12:00am

I received an email last week from a family in Austria that is looking for a gluten free friendly exchange opportunity for their 15 year old son. 

I will let his mother, Dorothea, explain the situation in her own way, but if you know of a family that may be interested please pass along the information.  She has found an organization that will handle  all the details, including the search of a suitable school, when she finds a willing family.  

I can't help but think that I may be in this situation myself at some point and hope I can find a suitable family for one my kids!


Jakob is 15 years old (born 17.3.1997) and visits the 5th high school class (in total 9th class).


The Celiac disease was diagnosed last year by accident during a doctor´s consultation about his little weight and height. He hadn´t had the classical symptoms as nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea but the biopsy showed that he is a clear case. Fortunately he lives happily and relatively little handicapped being a “zöli” (how we say in the German language, short form for Zöliakie). Since we eat gluten free, he was grown more than ten centimetres.


He lives in Vienna together with his mother, who is working for the Austrian Science Foundation.  His school is located only a few meters away from his home, which means a very short way in the morning (school starts at 8 a.m.) as well as in the early afternoon (school ends at 2 p.m.).  His favourite subjects are English, German language and literature, Geography and Sports. 


He is indeed an enthusiastic sport person: He plays football (soccer) and tennis, a little basketball and he loves skiing. Most of his remaining free time, he spends on music, cinema or on simply being with his friends.

For the next school year we plan half a year abroad (Jan 2013 until June 2013) and we are in an urgent need for a guest family in the U.S. who is able to handle his specific diet requirements.  Best of course would be a family with a celiac member. Of course there are lots of institutions organizing such a stay abroad and look professionally for guest families. The problem is that they aren´t willing to take any extra effort for our specific situation. This is the reason why I try to find a family by myself.   I have found an organization that will handle  all the details, including the search of a suitable school, when she finds a willing family. 

If you can help please contact Dorothea directly at:

Dorothea Sturn at:


 Please feel free to re-blog, Facebook and Twitter this message.  Last week we saw the power of social media to get the word out by they Kony video.  Let's us the power of social media to help one of our own! 

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