Host an Exchange Student
The Hosting Experience
What is involved?
Most host families are busy people who want to include their exchange students into their daily life. They treat their student as they would treat their own child. Hosts generally provide their student with a bed, meals, a quiet place to study, assistance with transportation, and a safe and caring family environment.
Host family activities usually include cross-cultural activities that help students grow closer to their host family members, better understand and adjust to their host culture, make great friends and enjoy successful exchange programs.
Examples of some host families profiles may include families with children, single parents, single adults, “empty nesters”, etc.
Exchange students are expected to participate in their host family’s daily life and activities and follow host family rules. They attend the local high school and take part in extracurricular activities together with their classmates. All school-related and personal expenses are covered by the students themselves.
Common talking points about hosting exchange students
Do you have any of the following concerns about hosting? Here’s why you should host!
We don’t have children
Host parents without children in the home have proven to be great host parents! They are just as caring as families with kids in the home. Exchange students match well in families without children. In their classes and extracurricular activities students meet other young people and form close friendships. NWSE actively encourages exchange students to make friends and participate in extracurricular activities in school and the local community. Let us help you select a student whom you would enjoy hosting in your family.
I can’t entertain a student or provide sightseeing trips
Host families are not expected to act as tour guides. The purpose of exchange programs is to allow exchange students to learn about their host culture by participating in the everyday life of their host family, school, and community. Host families are not expected to provide constant entertainment or travel with their exchange students. We do encourage families to “show off” the main points of their local community to their student when it is convenient to do so. The relationships, insights, and skills that students and host families alike gain during the exchange are the greatest rewards of the program.
I can’t afford to host an exchange student
Host families are not responsible for the student’s personal expenses, including travel, meals purchased outside the home, sports and activity expenses, toiletries, phone charges, school expenses, medical costs, etc. Host families must be able to provide a warm, supportive and caring environment, three nutritious meals/day, and perhaps some assistance with rides to and from activities. Let us know if you have any specific question or concern.
I expect to be away from home for some time during the exchange
Exchange students can stay with a family of one of their or your friends during your absence. Don’t let a few trips during the year prevent you from an amazing experience! NWSE will take care of screening those families, if necessary.
I can’t commit to hosting for a whole semester or school year
No problem. Welcoming a student for a few weeks is very rewarding! You can host an exchange student as a welcome host for the first one or two months of their stay in the U.S. NWSE will move the student to a long-term host family in your community during that time, unless, of course, you and your family have decided to keep the student! Placements with welcome families give students the opportunity to experience life and friendships with more than one family in the U.S.
I’m single and don’t have any children at home
Some of our best host families are single adults without children, or who have grown children who no longer live at home. We are happy to help you select a student who promises to be a good match for you! Let us know if you’d like to host or get more information, and we’ll be in touch right away!