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Hosting an Exchange Student

Share your home for a year, enjoy a friendship for a lifetime.

When you host a foreign exchange student, your entire family will discover a world of fun and enlightening adventure. Simply by sharing your home for as little as three months, a semester or a school year, you will be giving an exceptional young person from another country the opportunity of a lifetime—to live with your family and experience the language, customs and culture of our country. In return, your exchange student will bring to your family a bit of his or her homeland. Students come from Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa.

Each year, ASSE and its affiliates place several thousand students, ages 15 to 18, in host families like yours throughout the world. ASSE International Student Exchange Programs invites you and your family to join all the families in our country and throughout the world in this memorable and valued cultural experience.

Welcome a Lifelong Friend

Having an exchange student in your home is much like having an adopted teenage son or daughter from overseas. ASSE students do their share of the family chores and are eager to participate in your family's leisure activities.

Your ASSE student doesn't expect red-carpet treatment; he or she wants to learn about our country by living as a "native" rather than as a guest. And as your student experiences and responds to the new surroundings and day-to-day activities of your family and community, you will find a new way of looking at those things you often considered commonplace. Your family will also receive a fascinating cultural education about everyday life in your student's home country. In fact, the rewards are far-reaching–your student's classmates, instructors and the entire community will be enriched by interacting with your ASSE Exchange Student. As the school year progresses, your family will grow close to this new family member, developing a bond that will endure thousands of miles and last a lifetime. A tearful goodbye will come all too quickly, but you and your exchange student are sure to keep in touch. Some day, your entire family may even visit your foreign friend in his or her home country.

A Priceless Investment

If you are concerned about the cost of hosting an ASSE Exchange Student, rest assured; your financial obligation is minimal.

You merely furnish meals and a room. In fact, your student may even share a room with a child of the same sex who is close in age. Although not a motive to host, you may be able to deduct a small part of your taxable income by hosting an exchange student (check with your tax adviser). ASSE students pay for their own airfare and provide their own medical and liability insurance. Spending money is the responsibility of the student and his or her natural parents.

Your most important contribution is far from monetary. It comes from your heart – a willingness to welcome this student to your country and into your home by making him or her feel like a true member of the family.

Fine Young Citizens

Before a student is considered for the ASSE program, he or she must exhibit exceptional qualities. Students are selected on the basis of their academic standing, fine character and proven ability to get along with others.

This is determined through interviews, written recommendations and academic records – so you may be sure the student who comes to your home is a bright, exemplary citizen. When you and your student meet face to face for the first time, ASSE doesn't want you to feel like strangers. That's why your family will be involved in the selection process; you'll read an autobiographical essay or "Dear Host Family" letter by your student, and once approved you’ll see a photo collage of your student in his or her home environment among family members and friends. In addition, to get a head start on cultivating your friendship, you'll have an opportunity to correspond with each other before your student's arrival. Once your student arrives, your ASSE Area Representative will be available during the entire stay to answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have. In the event of a real emergency, you may contact one of ASSE's emergency numbers 24 hours a day.

 

Language-Learning Adventure

Of course, one of the primary objectives of your foreign exchange student is to learn your language in the manner that you speak it.

However, ASSE students are at least conversant in the language of their host country before their arrival, having studied it for a minimum of three years. In fact, many have studied the language for six or seven years. So your exchange student will be able to communicate with you and your family in your language with his or her own charming accent. By the end of the year, your student will be speaking your language fluently, and your family will probably be speaking some of your student's native language as well.

Hosting Stories

My year in Detroit Lakes was indescribable

Three years ago Dilrabo Sultanmuratova could just dream about coming to America and study here, but now she’s almost done with her exchange year and is reflecting on the past 10 months.

I had a dream to win a scholarship and get the opportunity to live in the U.S.A. I’m from a small town in Kazakhstan. No one got that scholarship from my town before and that’s why no one believed I can do it. But I made it!

Dilrabo Sultanmuratova,ASSE FLEX Exchange Student (Kazakhstan)
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Muslim Teen helps Vet give up Prejudice (Aired on WTHITV on May 13, 2013)

A military man's beliefs have been changed for the better, thanks to a new addition to his family. Brian Miller served in the army in the 1980s in various locations. He's a military vet, with a pride for his country, you'd be hard pressed to match. His son fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rondrell Moore,WTHITV
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Hiyori's Dream

Hiyori always delights in everyday discoveries. She says that two of the most fun & amazing things that she has discovered already in America is the fact that she can see SO many stars in the night sky and she loves the fact that her American family has a close relationship with each other. She has been warmly included as part of the family.

One of the biggest surprises about her American school is that she has to move from class to class and only has 3 minutes to make the change! She also said that having homework every day is a difference from her school in Japan.

Hiyori Suzuki,ASSE Exchange Student (Japan)
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Making a Big Step Forward

Fatima Ouadif did not imagine the doors that could open when she was selected as a 2009-10 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) scholarship program finalist coming from Morocco to spend a school year in Brunswick, Maine.

While staying with the Pease Family in Maine, as her host sister explored potential colleges for her postsecondary education, Fatima took an active interest and began her own research. After spending 10 months in beautiful Maine, attending the local high school and making lifelong family and friends, Fatima returned home to finish two more years of high school in Morocco. While back in Morocco, Fatima also used skills she learned during her time in the USA to volunteer at retirement homes and children hospitals.

Fatima Ouadif,ASSE YES Exchange Student (Morocco)
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The Dream Suddenly Became Real!!

The idea of me, Omar Yehia, coming here was the most outrageous, exciting thing that has ever happened to me! You wouldn't exactly think that your dream of coming to America is going to suddenly turn real.

I mean for a kid living in a tiny country on the Mediterranean, the U.S. is kind of... hmm let's just say far away. There I was at the Detroit airport all alone, for the first time ever, looking for the people that I am going to live with for a year! As I sat down, there was my host mom, Trish Tomayko, with a welcome sign running towards me. All of a sudden it hit me, that lady is going to be my mom for a year. It all seemed eerie to think that I was on my own now.

Omar Yehia,ASSE YES Exchange Student (Lebanon)
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