Have you or your family ever thought about bringing an exchange student into your life?
The benefits of hosting an exchange student are truly limitless
They are such a great addition to your family and can teach you so many different things. Our exchange students are so excited to come to America to study and live with an American family. However, I am sure that you and your family had the discussion “How much will a foreign exchange student cost our family?”
Education Travel & Culture is not allowed to pay our host families for a few reasons. Our students come on a J-1 visa which legally makes us not allowed to pay families to host. We want to ensure that our host families are looking to add a person to their family for the right reasons & not just because they need some extra income. We understand that hosting is an added expense to the family but the experience that you take away outweighs the extra costs, every time.
What exactly do you have to pay for as a Host Family?
We ask that our host families can provide 3 meals a day, transportation to and from school & a place to sleep and study. The 3 meals a day is including a sack lunch; If the student decides they would rather have a hot lunch at school or go off campus (if allowed) then they will pay for that from their spending money. Their transportation to and from school can be your neighborhood school bus, we just ask that you can be positive they make it to and from school. Lastly, they need their own bed and study area. Our students can share a room with the same gender and similar age as long as they have their own mattress to sleep on. We do not allow trundle beds or futons.
The great part is that our students do bring their own spending money & health insurance. Their spending money is expected to pay for their extracurricular activities such as going to the movies, buying new clothes and traveling expenses. Our student and their natural parents are aware of this before the sign up with ETC and know what to expect with their spending. The students also come with their own health insurance so whenever they get sick and need to go to their doctor, that is covered.
Sometimes, these things are not always completely defined before the student gets here. It is always best to sit down with your student when they arrive and discuss what works best for you and your family. If you go out to eat will you being paying for the student’s meals or will they have to be on their own? If you go on a family vacation, will the student be expected to pay, or will you help them out? It is very important to go over these expectations with the student when they arrive so that no issues arise when these situations occur.
You do have to be aware that hosting a foreign exchange student will cost you some extra money, however, you also must be aware of how amazing this experience is. When you open your heart and home to an exchange student you are bringing a new culture into your world, a new language and a new perspective on your life. Your exchange student will be a positive addition to your family in a million different ways which is why the extra money is worth spending.
Check out our website for more information on hosting!