Hometown Hero opens house and heart to foreign exchange students

Bill Mounts, of New Middletown, has welcomed eight exchange students over the past four years

Bill Mounts, of New Middletown, hosts foreign exchange students at his home.

NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Every year, Bill Mounts hosts foreign exchange students for Springfield High School. But he does more than just give them a roof over their heads.

Bill’s led a very fulfilled life and after his daughter grew up and moved out, he felt he still had a lot of knowledge to give.

That’s why he makes a point to teach each student about life and give them the best experience possible.

Bill saw an ad on TV four years ago about hosting foreign exchange students, which first gave him the idea.

He’s currently hosting Nico Suetterlin, a junior from Germany, and Matteo Monge, a junior from Italy.

Bill introduces them to as many people as he can.

“I take them to all the churches I can. They’re Roman Catholic, so we go over here to St. Paul’s, but I take them to all the denominations so the people in the community can meet the foreign exchange students,” he said.

He runs food trailers for the Canfield Fair, and has the exchange students help him out with the work.

This summer, Nico and Matteo got to meet President-elect Donald Trump when he visited the fair.

So far, they’ve had a great experience.

“I really like America so far. It’s different, but I really enjoy my stay so far,” Matteo said.

Nico said he likes going to school in Springfield.

“All the people here are very nice and polite.”

They also said they’ve formed a strong bond with Bill.

“He’s a very nice person. He’s very good with us, he helped us to get here,” Matteo said.

Nico and Matteo are the fourth pair of exchange students that Bill’s hosted.

“They’re always very appreciative of being here,” Bill said.

He’s developed great relationships with all the students and their parents, and is always sad to see them leave.

“I keep in touch with all my students, so I’m hoping when these two go back, that’ll be the same situation with them,” Bill said. “It’s very rewarding. It’s never easy when I go to the airport and leave them. It’s an emotional time.”

Bill recently battled cancer, but has been cancer-free for five months. He said he plans to keep hosting for as long as he can.