The picture shows Marketta Mattila (second from right), an AFS Participant from Kankaanpää, Finland, standing with her new host family on the day of her arrival in Huntington Beach, California, in 1965. Marketta was beginning a full school year as an exchange student with the Royers, and her host parents and sisters received their “new” member of the family with big smiles and a welcoming banner.
In 1948, the first AFS students from Finland (three from secondary schools and one from college) traveled to the United States as part of the year program. AFS Finland began hosting American students for an entire school year when the Americans Abroad year program was established in 1957. By 1965, when Marketta was hosted by the Royer family, there were fifty-nine Finnish students who spent a full school year in the United States, while three American students spent a school year living in towns in Finland.