Academic journal article Childhood Education

Exchange Programs Bring the International Home

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Exchange Programs Bring the International Home

Article excerpt

People tend to equate international experiences with leaving their country. Yet, it is possible to gain international exposure without ever leaving home.

Have you ever thought about opening your home to a student from another country? Each year, about 400 exchange programs place thousands of foreign students in homes across the United States. Most of these exchange programs look out for the best interests of the students, as well as the host families. But no two programs are the same, making it necessary for interested families to look around for the one that best serves their needs. This is not a simple task.

There is no government agency or private group that oversees all the exchange programs. No one knows exactly how many are operating in the country or how many students they bring to the United States.

So if you are planning to be a host family, it is up to you to look beyond a program's advertisements and brochures. It is also up to the host family to contact its school district. Administrators should be able to provide names of area representatives whose exchange programs are authorized to place students in their particular school systems.

One of the first things a potential host family should ask is where the closest program representative lives. For example, if the student is being placed in Des Moines, Iowa, the nearest representative should not be in California. …

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