International Host Family Programs are designed to bring students from abroad into the United States to discover the “American Way of Life” while living with a typical American family. Often referred to as exchange students, specifically selected students from abroad are invited to spend time living in the United States for a period of specified time from two (2) weeks to one year. While exchange often means trade or swap, the International Host Family Program, in the US may welcome a student from abroad while sending their child, from the United States, abroad to live with the incoming student’s family, thus the true meaning of exchange. While this practice is not commonplace, US students going abroad as foreign exchange students are rarely sent to incoming students homes.
International Host Family Program students entering the United States as exchange students come from a wide array of countries. From Europe, China, South Korea, South and Central American and beyond, these entering students remain cautious and somewhat skeptical about a strange land thousands of miles from home. Where apprehension to some degree is expected, incoming foreign exchange students are required to maintain acceptable grade level, C or above, and accept the International Host Family Program parents rules as well as all State and local laws governing their exchange residency.
International Host Family Programs within the United States, screen all incoming students before final placement. Selecting and placing the correct incoming student with the correct American family is of the utmost importance to ensure tranquility and compatibility. In coming exchange students must demonstrate proficient use of the English language in conservational form, both written and verbal. Incoming students are also required to compose an essay describing their personality, hobbies or interests and home life living in their respective country before placement is finalized.
International Host Family Program students, whether incoming or outgoing, often are struck with cultural shock when living with a host family. We all may live in the same World, under the same Sun and Moon however we remain uniquely diverse in numerous ways. Where International Host Family Programs are often exciting and adventurous, they can also be frightening and concerning when placed in anexchange program without the love and support of immediate family and friends that were left on another continent. Students, regardless of the country of origin, entering a new country for the first time must expect to see cultural shocks that one may often take for granted. All families throughout the World live differently; have different beliefs, however have one thing in common, the love of their children.
International Host Family Programs expand the horizon with unlimited possibilities in a World yet to be discovered. With unlimited boundaries and discovery of sights never before thought possible, International Host Family Program students are granted opportunities that very few will get to explore in a lifetime, making dreams into reality. International Host Family Programs build confidence while expanding horizons into the future.