Recruitment Calls

Cold Call Script

Sample 1 (Cold call - Generic)

Hi there…

My name is _______ and I am calling today because I work with a local high school exchange program called ETC. Every year we have about _______ students who come to _______ to study. I’m calling around the neighborhood (implies you live in the area) trying to find people who would be willing to host one of these awesome students for 4-6 weeks (welcome family) or for as long as 5-10 months…. Is this something your family might consider? 


“Hi, my name is _______ and I work with a non-profit high school exchange organization. We are looking for families in the neighborhood to host a high school exchange student who will attend (name of high school.) Is this something you are interested in getting more information on?”

If they absolutely wouldn’t consider hosting now or in the future, thank them for their time and ask if they know anyone else who might be a good candidate to host (referrals). Try to get an email address/phone # for those referrals and if not, ask for their e-mail address so you can send them some generic profiles to pass on to their friends and co-workers. This also gives them an opportunity to change their mind once they receive the generic profiles and read more about the student(s)! 

If they say yes and you sense they have time.

Spend some time explaining more about the program and getting to know them (bonding). You can say something like:


“That’s great, currently, we have 8 students (don’t make the # too big or people get overwhelmed) who we are still seeking host families for the upcoming school year.  All of our students have been carefully screened, are between the ages of 14-18, speak fluent English, and bring their own spending money & insurance. You can also expect them to become a member of your family; they will participate in all of the activities that your family does.” 


Other points you can mention

  • Share your hosting experiencing or talk about the students you supervise 
  • Variety of countries- which country would you like to host a student from? 
  • Tell me about your family, do you have kids at home? 
  • Ask if their family is active in any particular sport or activity? This should lead you to find out more about them and don’t forget to make notes. Let them know we always do our best to match the interests of our students with the interests of our host families. 
  • E-mail them the generic profiles of students you have talked to them about. Make sure you follow up in a couple of days to find out which student they determined to be the best fit for their family.

If they say yes, but you can tell they’re in a rush to get off the phone.

Try and get them to answer one question,

e.g. is there is a particular nationality your family might prefer? or can I just confirm your local high school is ______.

You might be able to keep them talking, and it’s best to get some information about them ready for your follow up. 


The final step is to

Give a brief overview of the screening process, and let them know that you will be emailing them right away with _________________________ (e.g. info about ETC, profiles, CBC instructions) and will be following up on ______________(e.g. day/time).


Sample 2 (Cold call - Voicemail)


Good morning, (their name)

My name is _______ and I am calling from Education Travel and Culture. Just to give you a little bit more information about our company- we actually bring foreign exchange students in from different Countries all over the world and place them with host families here in the United States. I am calling you because it shows in my records that you are zoned for the school district of Saguaro High School and I am currently looking for a home for next Semester for a boy/girl named _____  from _____. I would love to supply you with more information about how to open your home to an exchange student.

You can reach me at _______ or by email. My email address is_________.  You can reach me anytime! I absolutely look forward to talking with you more about this opportunity! Talk to you soon, buh bye 


Sample 3 (For a current ETC HF - Voicemail)

“Hi there

My name is ______ and I am calling today on behalf of ETC. As a host family with ETC, you made it possible for your student to have an experience that truly changed the path of their life! We are grateful for your efforts. 

 As you know, each year, we seek host families for a new group of students from around the world who are eager to start their own international journey. We have school spots available in your school district and are actively looking for host families for students there. We appreciate you hosting in the past and are hoping that you might know of other great families in your community who would be interested in hosting.  


Talking Points

Our past hosting experience was not the best, and we are afraid to host again.

  • Not every experience works out. Sometimes it is chemistry; sometimes it is just the wrong student for the family or vice versa.

  • Try to focus on how things went when problems occurred. Did the LC work with them? Was the problem resolved in a timely matter? Did they receive satisfactory results when it wasn’t working out?

  • We don’t guarantee every placement works out, just that we will take care of things if it doesn’t.

It’s too expensive to host, the economy is bad

  • Realistically, it does cost some money 
  • Families cover the costs of food, basic transportation and lodging, everything else is optional.
  •  The student comes with spending money – $300-$400 per month
  • The added costs like the family vacation, Christmas presents, etc. are discretionary. Also, the student can pay for themselves and still attend with you on your vacation. If that is not an option, other accommodations can be made for the time the family is on vacation.
  • Students have medical insurance.
  • You may be able claim a special tax deduction on federal taxes under charitable contributions.
  • Think of the benefits of the experience that can’t be measured in money.
  • If it is something you want to do, don’t wait for the perfect time. It will never happen!

Do we get paid or reimbursed?

  • They do not, but they can get a tax deduction of $50 per month.
  • If they mean medical insurance, etc….then the answer is yes. The kids come fully insured.
  • Talk to them about the non-tangibles that they get as a family, such as first-hand info on a new culture, helping to teach someone about American life so they can understand “us” better, a way to expose their children to new ways of thinking, educational experience for the entire family, etc.
  • We don’t pay families for hosting because it is a different type of experience that we offer and against Department of State Regulations for J-1 Visas.

I’m thinking of hosting with an organization that will pay us

  • We are a volunteer organization.
  • We want students to become a part of the family and not a have their family be a hotel and taxi service. Our students create real relationships.
  • We offer great support and orientations.

We do not have a high school age student of our own

  • Most times the younger siblings are excited and very accepting of a big brother or sister.
  • One way to help support the student in this type of placement is to find a neighborhood HS student to be their friend the first couple weeks and show them around.

We don’t have any children at home

  • Empty nesters make great host parents and can double place
  • People without children in the home can really focus on the student.
  • Participants will make friends at school.
  • No sibling rivalry.
  • Most kids enjoy being the only child.
  • Liaisons and others will invite them to do things.

We have younger children, no one in the high school

  • Kids are great with the exchange students. Younger children really enjoy having a teenage brother/sister. They are so curious that they ask all the questions and tend to look up to the students as a role model.
  • Families that have hosted when their kids are young have said that the kids really respond well to the exchange student. Many students enjoy younger kids and speaking to them as the language is easier.
  • It opens the kids’ minds and makes them aware of the outside world at an earlier age.
  • Plus, if they do like it, they can host that many more times while their kids are still home
    to enjoy it.
  • Eliminates competition in the household.

I live too far away from the school

  • Some of the most successful placements are just like yours.
  •  They are coming to be part of a family no matter where you live. 
  • We look for student who would like a rural setting.

We never travel or go anywhere – what would the student do?

  • Participants are not here as tourists. They are here to experience American life and culture.

  • ETC is a cultural and school program. They may have a chance to travel some with school, ETC trips, or church if they choose as well.

  • Friends and family may offer to take them on trips as well.

  • You might be surprised at how you can find time to do things you thought you were too

    busy to do.

House is too small

  •  Student needs their own bed and study space, but not their own room.
  • Sharing room will make them part of family faster (5 years age difference of same sex.).
  • Relationship in the family is the most important factor, not space.

We don’t have enough time or we both work full time

  • We are all so busy. So are ETC students. We try to find a student that matches their lifestyle. The family is a part of the experience, but the students are also involved in school activities, ETC activities, etc.

  • Host families and kids come in all shapes and sizes. There is the right student for each family. Participants also come from busy families. This gets them immersed in the culture quickly. Busy families often make the best ones.

  • Busy families encourage independence and self-sufficiency.

  • Most American families are busy.

  • Busy people know how to get things done.

  • Many host families have 2 working parents.

No, we are not interested

  • Ask why to see if you can work on their reason. It may be that they just don’t know enough about hosting. It could also be that they just aren’t interested. Ask if they can recommend a family if they seem understanding of the expectations of hosting, but just not interested.

I don’t know anybody that would be interested

  • Ask more specifics like is there anyone you know that is “the neighborhood house” (where all the kids hang out) Ask them to think about groups they may belong to, sports clubs, churches etc.

Why should we host through ETC and not another international organization?

  • We are extremely high quality and smaller than other organizations. This allows us to go above and beyond the Department of State standards. We put everything we are into the support of our host families and students and well as our screening to try and make sure the student and host family are a good match.

  • Many programs are good and have families and students that have good experiences. The major difference between exchange organizations is the support of local coordinators, ongoing orientations and high standards we have for our students and overall program.


Phone Number

(503) 222-9803 in Portland
(877) 222-9803 Toll Free
Fax: (503) 227-7224


1029 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97205