Q: Who is eligible to host?
A: There is not a traditional type of family that hosts exchange students. American families come from all types of socio-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and locations. Our host families reflect this diversity.
Families may have children of similar age to the exchange student or they may be younger. Some of our families are empty-nesters who no longer have children at home. Single parent families also make up a portion of our host families.
Q: What is the host family expected to provide?
- A loving and safe environment for the student.
- Room and board. Students do not need to have their own bedroom and may share a bedroom with one host sibling of the same gender and similar age.
- A quiet place to study.
- Some transportation.
- Guidance and support.
Q: Who are the students?
A: Students range in age from 15 to 18 and are currently enrolled in high schools in their home country. Students apply through foreign partner organizations in their home countries. They go through an extensive application and evaluation process.
Q: Do the students speak English?
A: Yes. All students have English skills sufficient to enter an American high school. As part of the student application process, all students must take an English Language Proficiency (ELTiS) exam. Test results are used by ETC in considering whether a student is accepted into our program. Many of the students have been studying English for many years but wish to perfect their language skills by studying in the US.
Q: How are students placed with families?
A: You will be presented with applications for several students and will have the opportunity to choose the student that best suits your family’s lifestyle.
Q: What kind of support do we receive?
A: ETC is your support system throughout the entire hosting process. A Local Coordinator (LC) is available to you at any time to answer your concerns and questions. In the event that you are unable to reach your Coordinator, ETC offers a 24-hour emergency service.
Q: Are the families paid to host?
A: No. Due to the type of visa the students receive from the US State Department, federal law prohibits monetary compensation of families involved in cultural exchange. ETC limits the amount of financial burden placed on a family by requiring that students pay for any additional expenses beyond room and board.
Q: What costs are there to my family?
A: Aside from covering the costs of housing and feeding a student three meals a day, students will pay for any extra costs. All additional expenses will be paid for by the student (clothing, school fees, lunches purchased at school, entertainment, etc.)
Q: We’re very busy, is that a problem?
A: Busy families make great host families! We have students who will fit right into your lifestyle. Eventually students make their own friends through school and the community and will have their own social lives.
Q: What happens when we want to go on vacation?
A: Often times host families will arrange for the student to go with them (if the student agrees to pay for the additional costs.) In the event that it is not possible to take the student with you, many times a neighbor, school friend or another host family will have the student stay with them.