Host Family Articles

Traveling With Your Exchange Student

become a volunteer host family!

Please let us know of any families you think have the willingness and resources to help one of our exchange students. Exchange students come from one of these countries:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam.

Have fun and enjoy making memories with your student

Traveling with students can be an exciting and memorable experience. Whether it’s a road trip to a local destination or flying cross country for grandma’s birthday, your family will find this time valuable for bonding with your student as you discover new things about each other.

Traveling With Your Exchange Student

As you explore new places, there is time for interaction and telling stories. Making memories will also integrate your student into the family and forge a stronger bond. More opportunities to see other parts of the country only serves to solidify the mission of the program: promoting good will among countries by through positive encounters, one student at a time.

The first step is to complete the Permission to Travel form with the student. If you’re not going too far, it makes the approval process easier. However, most natural parents are happy to support students exploring another part of the country and having experiences with their host families. So even if you’re traveling thousands of miles across the country, getting approval is not too difficult.

Submit a completed, signed form to your Local Coordinator at least two weeks in advance if any of these apply:

  • Unaccompanied travel or travel with someone other than student’s own host family
  • International Travel (including Mexico & Canada).  This will require more advance notice as their visa must be validated.
  • Traveling by plane
  • The trip will cost the student more than $200
  • Length of the trip is more than 72 hours        

More helpful tips:

  • If the student is missing 2 or more days of school, he/she may be required to submit an instructor permission form.
  • Last minute trips do happen and if they require a Permission to Travel Form, please let your coordinator know ASAP.
  • Fill out all fields as best as you can, we do need at least one address and a phone number of where the student will be when traveling.
  • You have to print the form and sign it by hand. Electronic Signatures are not permitted.
  • Only host family signature is required to submit the travel form. The ETC office will get approval from the student’s sending organization and their natural parents.
  • Don’t forget to fill out the top right corner with student info, if you do not know the Sending Organization, write the country the student is from.
  • You can find more copies of the Permission to Travel Form on myzapp.com, where you completed the hosting application.

Details are important, so don’t leave anything out. Make sure to wait until you receive the approval email to book any airfare or hotel accommodations. Regardless of whether the trip needs written approval or not, we still recommend notifying your LC with a text, phone call or email, just so we know where the student is in case of an emergency. 

You may find your student is more connected and more open once they travel with you.  Not only that, they may discover something new about the U.S. or adopt a different perspective just from visiting places unknown.  Perhaps you’ll learn something together!  And all the while, you’ll be having great conversations that will improve English speaking skills, build relationships, and create a positive atmosphere for success!

Have fun and enjoy making memories with your student!

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