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Host an International Exchange Student

One of the most valuable experience I have had is hosting an international exchange student.

You get another member of your household to laugh alongside, cook with, and gain a window into a new culture. You might learn new recipes, explore new music, and share new activities. In return, your student will get to learn all about you and your family!

One thing that often surprises families is how interesting host students find your daily routine and activities- no special activities are needed (though, some host families choose to because it can be sort of fun to have an excuse for them!)

The connection can lead to the basis of a lifelong friendship between two families.

Interested? Read on to learn more about the process!

Also, if you want to host now- we know of at least one student looking for a place to stay this year while they study. ūüėÄ

Image Credit: Boston Global Education

How does hosting work, anyway?

International education agencies, like Boston Global Education, assist students in applying to private high schools and support them throughout the entire process adapting to academic learning, culture, and life in American schools. For these teens this experience is also about preparing for college and beyond.

The agency will assist students in completing applications for bank cards, mobile phone cards, illness, and routine physical examinations.

Image Credit: Boston Global Education

What would I do?

Living with an American¬†host family,¬†students can simultaneously practice spoken English and experience local culture.¬†Host families act as guardians, provide daily service like transportation to and from school, homemade¬†meals, and sometimes¬†academic supervision.¬†¬†Equally important, hosts¬†support their assigned student to cope with and overcome the new environment’s challenges.

Remember, teenagers are the same from anywhere in the world and life with a teen brings complications. There is a language barrier to consider when you decide to host an international student as well. You have no way to know what the values were in their family before they came over to join yours.  However, students are expected to follow your house rules. Teens might not like to follow the rules 100% of the time no matter what country they live in, but there is an expectation that the student will accept the guidelines of your family as a condition of their experience. An experienced agency may have students sign contracts about their behaviors or commit to specific guidelines. If needed, the agency will facilitate an understanding and lead any improvement desired.

Photo Credit: Boston Global Education

What are some of the benefits?

It can be a rewarding experience because of the impact you can have on a young person’s future as you invest your time and effort in helping someone live in a different¬†country.¬†The host can gain¬†a fresh perspective on their own lifestyle, expand¬†your family’s horizon which¬†increases their global¬†awareness,¬†and adding¬†a new¬†family member builds¬†team¬†cooperation.

You will also earn extra income as a host family through a monthly stipend which is intended to cover the increased costs of groceries and your car transportation.

Are there different types of hosting experiences?

Yup! Every agency does it differently. There are short term and full year options. We have a couple students seeking full year placement through Boston Global Education.

There are also short term openings available for “Welcome Families” through edutrav.org.

Looking to host for a full year (September to early June)? Contact Joanne Fishman at joannefishman@comcast.net

Looking to host as a Welcome Family? Contact Jessica Gutierrez at jgutierrez@edutrav.org.

Photo Credit: Boston Global Education

Sign Me Up! What do I need to Do?

Start by contacting the rep for your chosen agency (many agencies make postings online!). You’ll likely need to fill out an application, then you’ll relieve an interview and possibly a home tour.

Want more info on general hosting? Contact kate@kidtivity.com.

Want to host a short term student? Contact jgutierrez@edutrav.org

Want to host a full year student? Contact Joannefishman@Comcast.net

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