Foreign Exchange Students Need Host Families


 By John Riley

Each year, nearly 30,000 high school students from countries all over the world come to the United States  to study for one semester or one school year. With the fall semester soon to start, the students will begin arriving within the next three weeks and will need a host family to provide room and board while they are here.

Many students already have host families, however, a number of students are waiting to have their host families assigned. Foreign companies who recruit the students contract with American student exchange placement  organizations who then have the responsibility of arranging for school admissions and finding host families.  Many of these placement firms  also recruit American students who want to study abroad and then contract with foreign placement companies to arrange for schools and host families. 

STS Foundation(STSF) headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona,  is one of the leading student exchange organizations. This year they will place approximately 500 foreign students throughout the country, semester and annual,  from 32 countries.

Annual surveys taken by STSF point to three reasons why most families host:

1) the family has high school age kids and believe hosting would be a good social and learning experience for them.

2) it is an excellent way to learn about new cultures.

3) frequently, hosting leads to new life long friendships for the entire family

When a family agrees to host, they are interviewed in their home and asked for three references. After that, a background check is initiated. Then the family and the local STSF representative sit down and select a student. Good English skills are required for exchange students.

Students arrive in the United States with insurance and spending money for the duration of their stay.

The student exchange program is under the auspices of, and administered by, the U. S. Department of State.  Standards are developed and monitored by CSIET, an indepent and well established organization.

For families who have an interest in hosting a student, you can call Dave at STSF: 1-800-522-4678.   The STSF website is www.stsfoundation.org.

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