Become a Host Family
Thinking about welcoming a student? Click below to watch our video.
During the summer students from other nations want to explore new worlds. We in the "New World" are often their destination. Our cities and towns are exciting and romantic to them. Our lives and our heroes interest them. Our self-confidence and exuberance fascinate them.
But here in North America we are, for the most part, insular. Our news only covers the most momentous international stories. We rarely focus on the rest of the world. In our minds, foreign lands are color photos in glossy travel magazines. They are not real.
World Exchange Offers You and Your Family a Unique Experience!
One that will make the rest of world real...as real as Pierre, Aurelie or Antoine! Instead of meeting someone from the next block, here is a chance to meet someone from half-way around the world, a young person who really wants to meet you.
By welcoming a student from another country into your family's heart for a few weeks this summer, you will enrich your understanding of the world while at the same time providing a unique experience for a visiting youngster.
Why do it?
Why do you go on vacation? Why do you go to a party? It's the excitement of meeting someone new--with a different view of things, and unusual sense of humor, a new perspective or unique goals. It is how we get the most out of life--enrich our lives.
There are two more noble reasons to do it. One is, that in a world constantly being torn apart by national, religious, color, class and other differences, it is incumbent upon some of us to have the courage and make the effort to reach out for greater understanding, to reach out for peace, for friendship, for hope. The second reason is closer to home: we can, without leaving the comfort of our own community, introduce our own children to the different, and sometimes very similar worlds, that exist in other human beings.
How does it work?
You phone 1 800 444-EXCH (3924) and ask for the name and phone number of the World Exchange Program Director in your area (see areas listed on Home Page). We will take down your name, address and phone number to forward to him or her and we will mail you a copy of our Invite the World Home brochure. Inside the brochure is a Host Family Information form for you to fill out. Arrangements are made for your local Program Director to come and meet with you and your family and answer your questions. You will be ask to show the Program Director around your house or apartment and to point out the room in which your visiting student will sleep (rooms shared with children of the same sex are fine). In order to understand this meeting imagine your own child going to another country. You would want to be sure that your child would be in a safe, comfortable and happy environment.
When the students' application forms arrive (together with their letters and photos), you choose your student and write him or her a letter of welcome. A few days before the students arrive you attend an orientation meeting. And voilą, as the French say, you're ready to go!!
What do you do with your student?
Pretty much what you normally do. A little more actually. It's as if your favorite uncle's child, who you haven't seen since she was seven, came to visit. You'd treat her like family, but do some special things, too. Go to the movies, wash the car, drive to the mall, go swimming, see grandma, take a trip, go to work, see the sights. World Exchange organizes one or more daytrips and a farewell party.
What if it doesn't work?
First, we do our very best to help make it work. That is World Exchange's job. We are hands-on and experienced. Our local Program Directors, our Regional Program Directors and our staff at National Headquarters will work with you seven days a week while your student is here to make sure you have a good time.
Second, if a problem arises that is impossible to resolve, we will remove the student from your home. Please give us 72 hours to arrange this--it is hard to do quickly. Fortunately it does not happen often.
What can you tell us about the visiting students?
They are between 14 and 18 years old. Generally they are from lower-middle to upper-middle income families. Their level of English varies from fair to excellent. The majority of the visiting students have received financial aid to enable them to participate in this intercultural experience. They are very much like the teenagers in your neighborhood. They are future teachers, business owners, farmers, government workers, executives, politicians, managers. Many of them will be the decision makers of the future. Right now they are still in high school. You will have the opportunity to play a part in shaping their attitudes, opinions and goals.
How can I get more information?
Phone 1 800 444-EXCH (3924) and ask for the name and phone number of the World Exchange Program Director in your area. We will take down your name, address and phone number to forward to him or her and we will mail you a copy of our Invite the World Home brochure. You can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.