I work with an International Student Exchange Program. We are a non-profit organization! We're looking for volunteer host families! It's a great cultural experience for your family and the student! There's NO FEE to apply with our program. The students come with their own money so you are not required to buy anything for the student. All that we ask is you provide the student with a bed (bedroom can be shared), at least 3 meals a day and bathroom. Still with me? Keep reading or reply to this post for more info!
WE HAVE ABOUT 220 STUDENTS WHO STILL NEED TO BE PLACED AND ARE WAITING TO HEAR FROM HOST FAMILIES TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES AS WELL AS BE A PART OF YOUR FAMILY. Please share your home! I can also help families outside of the Des Moines area!
Here's what you need to know about hosting a foreign exchange student:
- The students come with their own spending money! You're not required to buy any items for the student (unless you want to). They bring their own money so that they can buy clothes, self care products, souvenirs and maybe go do activities.
- We ask that the host family provides a bed (bedroom can be shared), at least 3 meals a day and a bathroom!
- Students come with insurance for medical, liability and accident.
- There's NO FEE to apply to become a host family! We are a non-profit organization!
- Not only do students come here to study and learn about our culture but they love sharing their culture with their host family!
- ANY type of family can host! Single, married, couples, same-sex, retirees, etc.
- You get to choose ANY student from any country that fits your lifestyle!
- As a host parent, you should treat this student as your own child. You can set reasonable rules with them such as make curfews, have them do chores like clean up after themselves or do laundry! Don't think you have to do everything for them.
Any objections?? Let me try to encourage you that YOU CAN host a student!
- We don't have an extra bedroom. - Exchange students can share a bedroom with someone of the same sex and they can be up to 5 years apart in age. As long as they have their own bed, not a problem! An office can be converted into a bedroom as well.
- Our children are all out of the home. - Empty nesters make the best host parents! Why? They've raised teenagers and understand challenging aspects. They also have the time and can host two students if there is room available.
- I am single, it's just me at home. - Single parents make great hosts! If you don't have kids, you can host two students! The students make friends and join activities to keep busy. If you have kids, most of our students have siblings and are very understanding.
- Our children are too young. - A lot of exchange students have siblings and can relate to a family with young children and be that supportive big brother or sister! Having young children exposes them to other countries, cultures and languages at an early age.
- We are too busy. - Exchange students do better with a busy family! A family that keeps the student engaged and active helps keep the students from being bored or homesick.
- We are not wealthy. - It's not necessary to be wealthy if you want to host a student. The student is here to learn about American culture. You just have to supply a loving, warm environment, meals, a bed and place for their things. Students do come with their own spending money and have their own insurance.
- We both work. - Exchange Students will make friends at school and join activities to keep themselves busy. It is very common for both parents to work in American families.
- We don't travel, the students will not see any other parts of the USA. - The students are here to live with a family and experience American life. The student can also participate in field trips offered through the program if they wish to.
- We do not do anything. - Exchange students become active through school friends, clubs, sports and events. You can also choose to host two students.
- We're too old, how could a student enjoy living with us? - Some of our students thrive in a setting with older host parents. As many come from families of older parents or grandparents themselves.
- We don't like the idea of having a "stranger" in our home. - After a few days, your student will not be a stranger. The idea of hosting may sound scary, but if it helps, we can put you in touch with former host families so you can hear about their experiences. Also, by choosing a student early, you have time to get to know your student better and they'll feel less of a stranger to you and your family.
- We are not a very interesting family. - Students join our program because they want to experience what it's like to be a "regular American teenager" attending high school. You'll find that just talking to your student becomes a positive activity for you both. You are exchanging ideas and learning about a new culture.
- It's too expensive. - All that is required for our host families is to provide a bed, an extra plate at the table for the student and a bathroom that they can use. The students are here for an experience and have their own spending money and insurance. You're not required to purchase anything for them.
- A 10 month commitment is too much for our family. - We also have short-term opportunities. We have students who come here for a semester or you can host a year student for a semester, this gives us time to find another host family the student can live with for their second semester!
- We are senior citizens and no children in our home. - That's no problem at all. We have similar host families and our students appreciate the extra attention you can offer. We've had seniors that say hosting makes them feel young again, more involved in the community, and that the students activity brings new excitement to their home.
- I'm afraid I won't be so lucky with another student because this one is amazing. - Each student is different just as we are. But I assure our program has rules and ways to handle any issue that may arise. You're also likely to get another student just as wonderful as the one you've had.
- What if we have issues with the student? - Our program has rules and ways to handle any problems that might happen. But I can assure you our students have great personalities and join our program with good intentions.
- It's extra work for me. - Not necessarily. Yes, you would be responsible for taking care of the student, however, aside from the rules our program has, you can set your own as well. The student can have chores such as cleaning up after themselves and or do laundry.