Remembering Uta Christianson and Jackie Sant-Myerhoff

29 October 2015
29 Oct 2015 -

This week we were informed of the passing of two people who have significantly contributed to the development of the international youth travel and cultural exchange industry.

We herewith want to pass our condolences to their families, colleagues and other loved ones.

Uta Christianson | InterExchange

Uta Christianson

InterExchange’s co-Founder and former President, Uta Christianson, passed away peacefully at her home last week.

Uta Christianson grew up in wartime Germany and moved to New York  in the late 60’s where she met Paul Christianson, who passed away in 2013. Paul and Uta Christianson founded InterExchange under the name International Student Visitor Services (ISVS) in 1968.

In 1988 they created InterExchange, a non-profit organisation that has given thousands of young people from around the world the opportunity to live and work abroad through its various programmes.

After over 40 years of being committed to develop international youth travel, Uta retired from InterExchange in 2011, however she remained interested and involved in the continued development of the industry.

Jackie Sant-Myerhoff | Cultural Homestay International (CHI)

JackieJackie Sant-Myerhoff joined the (at that time) small and new student exchange organisation – California Homestay Institute – in 1982.

Her 30+ years of work at CHI afforded her an opportunity to positively affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of foreign students and their American host families.

Tom Areton, Executive Director of CHI – and the one who hired her all those years ago – remembers:

“She cared deeply about ‘her’ students, American host families, as well as her staff. She was a dedicated professional, 100% reliable and 110% committed. Jackie was one of the few employees who took our evaluation feedback as an opportunity to better herself, instead of being defensive.

To all of us, Jackie was more than a colleague. She was a friend. She was fun.”

Jackie’s spirit, dream and commitment to positively affect the multitudes of people around the world for the cause of peace, friendship and mutual understanding will be remembered as long as there is CHI.