Established in 1981, we are all about building lasting connections and relationships. All of our staff have lived with host families abroad and are excited to support your experience.
Established in 1981, ANDEO is a non-profit organization that specializes in international homestay programs.
Our mission: Our mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding and friendship through international homestays and educational programs. We offer support for language teachers, homestays abroad for school groups and individual students, and short-term hosting opportunities throughout the year.
From our office in Portland, Oregon, our international network of homestay participants, programs, and coordinators spans the globe. The heart of all our programs is a homestay with a welcoming family. All of our staff have participated in homestay programs. We know from personal homestay experiences and from more than 30 years of professional experience that home is the best place to share cultures, deepen language understanding and make lifelong friends.
Our international network of homestay coordinators shares our commitment to exceptional homestay experiences. Together we work closely to develop, implement, and refine every program we offer. The result is an extraordinary level of quality and support.
We are often asked, "What does ANDEO mean?" ANDEO (pronounced Ahn-DAY-oh) is not a word we took from another language or an acronym, but a word that is easy to pronounce in any language. The question, therefore, is not what our name means, but what it conveys: sharing, communication, and cross-cultural understanding. Our name is a way of making communication between people from different places and cultures in our network a little easier. For the thousands of students and families who have participated in our programs, "ANDEO" has come to mean the homestay experience of a lifetime!
We hope you will join us as we continue to bring people together to share their cultures and languages through homestays. We invite you to add "ANDEO" to your vocabulary!
A note about inclusion: We are committed to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all our employment and educational programs. We do not discriminate based on race; national or ethnic origin; color; sex; religion; age; sexual orientation; gender expression or identity; pregnancy; marital status; familial status; economic status or source of income; mental or physical disability or perceived disability; or military service.
Meet our Staff
Melinda Samis | Founder
Melinda founded International Summerstays (now ANDEO) in 1981. She has set foot on the soil of many countries, loves being able to read Mexican poets in their native language, and has opened her own home to students from South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Traveling memory: "Being in a small village in France on September 11, 2001 and having all the neighbors stop by to extend their heartfelt wishes for my country."
Sara Keilholtz Bruckner | Executive Director
Sara has hosted international students, lived with families in Mexico, Spain, China, and Tibet, served as an international camp counselor in Barcelona, and taught English in China as well as creative writing and composition at University of Oregon. She graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Oregon and is passionate about facilitating cross-cultural communication and understanding. Favorite traveling memory: "Living with a host family in Mexico with my mother when I was nine. Laughing and blowing bubbles with my host brothers and sisters. Figuring out our own ways to communicate through play."
Kellie Irish | College Programs Manager
Kellie lived in Japan for four years, one of those with a wonderful host family. She has a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Japanese. Her love of cultures and adventure has taken her to twenty-two countries on four continents. Traveling memories: "Relaxing in a Japanese hot spring during snowfall after a long day of snowboarding; watching the sunrise in the Serengeti."
Rebecca Gundle | Teen Programs Manager
Rebecca got her first taste of international travel at the age of four when her family spent four months in Central America. Ever since then, she has been hooked! After high school, she backpacked through Europe and Southeast Asia and then studied Latin American Studies & Anthropology and Teaching. Before joining ANDEO, Rebecca taught at middle- and high schools. She speaks Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, lived with host families in Mexico and Brazil, and collected passport stamps from twenty-three countries on five continents. Memorable travel moments: “Learning to make tamales from my host mother and host sister in Oaxaca, Mexico; bicycling through the countryside in Laos.”
Kaylin Preston | Coordinator- Teen and College Programs
One of Kaylin's first and most impressionable cultural exchange experiences was when she and her family hosted a Japanese student who attended high school with her and her sister for the year. Her passion for travel, cultures, and languages only grew after this, and she continued her schooling at Lewis & Clark College. She earned a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology and spent a semester studying French and Wolof in Dakar, Senegal. After university, she spent a year living and working in New Zealand before returning to Senegal on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award. She spent one more year teaching English in the Indian Ocean on Reunion Island before coming back to her home state of Oregon. During her spare time she enjoys exploring the trails around the Pacific Northwest, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and finding any excuse to dance. Favorite travel memory: "Spending the day with a family in a small village in Senegal. We ate the national dish for lunch, brewed all three cups of tea under the mango tree, then attended the traditional wrestling match between neighboring villages that night. Afterwards we danced at the 'dust dance' until the sun came up and we hitched a bus ride back to the nearby town."
Stephanie Harrison | Coordinator- Teen and College Programs
As a kid Stephanie’s favorite book was a world atlas, she loved reading about all of the special places of the world and her love cultures only grew from there. Her international experience started in high school with a German host family exchange, followed by a yearlong study abroad in Germany during her undergraduate studies, and a U.S. Peace Corps service tour in Ukraine where she taught English for 2 years. She has a BA in both International Studies and German from the University of Wyoming and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Portland State University. In her free time she can be found knitting, cycling, and cooking. Favorite travel memory: “Spending days in the summer picking wild blueberries and shashliking with fellow PCV's and Ukrainian friends in the mountains near Moldova; befriending local Egyptians and their camels for a truly glorious and secret view of the pyramids”
Kristin Eberman | Washington Coordinator
While born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Kristin has spent a majority of her adult years living overseas. Her passion for international travel began at 16 when she first spent a summer in France on a language and homestay program through ANDEO. She then studied abroad for six months in Ghana when she was a junior in high school where she had another unforgettable homestay experience. She has since travelled to 51 countries on five continents, including studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, volunteering in Moscow, Russia, serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco, and working for several years in both England and Australia. She now resides in Seattle. Travel memory: "Being a close part of my host sister's wedding in Morocco was such an amazing opportunity! I moved in with them days after she agreed to an arranged marriage. I was able to witness the entire process of the engagement when they met in person for the first time, their courtship and seeing her fondness for him grow, the three-day wedding filled with so much celebration and joy, and life after the marriage when she moved in with his family. Seven years later, they are still happily married with two sons!"
Carolyn Spaulding | Local Area Coordinator - Salem/Corvallis/Albany
Mother of two and grandmother of 4, Carolyn has been working in high school classrooms for the past 24 years, as well as working for Andeo and hosting more than 35 students and group leaders. Her love of cultures, people, and adventure has taken her to eleven countries on four continents. Favorite travel memory: "Traveling to Japan with my husband to visit our daughter who was working there. We took the train from Tokyo to her rural town all by ourselves, with her very explicit instructions and colors of train lines. Best vacation ever, getting to see her speak Japanese to the students and coworkers at her school, as well as sightseeing and meeting up with students we had hosted as much as 14 years earlier!"
Julie Padbury | Local Area Coordinator - Tigard/Tualatin/Sherwood areas
Julie has a BA in Liberal Arts from Portland State University. She studied French and German at Oregon State University, and is currently learning Spanish. After high school she toured as a performing artist with Holiday on Ice International in Europe, which took her to Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, England, Wales, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Italy. She has 4 children and has hosted students from France, Italy, Spain and Japan over a span of 14 years, starting when her kids were just 2, 3, 4 and 5 years old. Most memorable travel moment: "My fellow ice-skaters and I were walking the back streets of Tours in France after a long show day. We met some locals who wanted to know why we were in town. They didn’t understand “ice-skating with Holiday on Ice” in French…but then I saw a L’Espoir newspaper on the cobblestone street that just happen to have an article about our show and full spread of pictures of us in full costume and ice-skates on the back page. It was quite the coincidence, as we didn’t even know the press had been covering our show. I still have that newspaper today!"
Zach Simon | Cultural Exchange Associate - Teen and College Programs
From cresting the summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro to herding goats with his Maasai host brothers, Zach’s first experience traveling internationally to Tanzania provided a transformative experience he will carry for a lifetime. Zach earned his B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and studied abroad throughout Tanzania where he participated in homestays, studied Swahili, and interacted with a range of peoples and cultures. In Oregon, Zach’s favorite activities include fly fishing, biking, and camping and he welcomes any opportunity when he can find the time to do all three. Favorite Travel Memory: “Spending two days in Yaeda Valley with the Hadza tribe in Tanzania who practice hunting and gathering. Waking up before dawn to go on a hunt, tracking zebra, baboons, and watching my Hadza guide catch a hyrax with handmade bow and arrows all while walking through the Great Rift Valley.”
Lauren Morrow | Cultural Exchange Associate - Teen and College Programs
Lauren’s passion for international traveling and hosting experiences started when she was eleven and her family hosted their first of eight exchange students. In high school, she lived with two different host families in Costa Rica on an exchange program. After graduating with a BA in International Relations, she spent two and a half years backpacking around the world, predominately spending her time in Latin America, Europe and Australia. While Lauren was getting her Masters degree in International Development and Service, she spent two semesters studying and interning abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Quito, Ecuador. She used her study abroad locations as jumping off points to explore other parts of South America and Southeast Asia, too! Lauren has also chaperoned a group of high students to Costa Rica. She’s excited to be back in her hometown and providing exchange opportunities for others! Favorite Travel Memory: "Huddling in the tent door opening after getting caught in a thunder and lightning storm on the top of Volcán Acatenango while watching Volcán de Fuego bursting with red lava eruptions."
Becca Duncan | Cultural Exchange Associate- Teen and College Programs
Becca started her international journey by hosting a French student during high school, and subsequently spent a month with the same student’s family in Haute-Savoie, France. She also spent six months in Dijon, France as a student at the University of Burgundy, and most recently returned from a year of teaching English at the primary school level in Nantes. After living in Europe, Becca backpacked in Vietnam, Japan and Thailand, where she lived and volunteered at a Thai cooking school. She earned her BA from the University of Puget Sound with a double major in Political Economy and French. Favorite travel memory: “During my third time living in France, I went to Haute-Savoie, in the mountains next to the Swiss border, to visit my first host family. We hiked up a mountain in the Swiss Alps together and had a classic French picnic of bread, wine, cheese and chocolate at the summit, with a view of Mont Blanc on one side and all of Geneva and Lac Léman on the other.”