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Give your family an authentic international experience at home; host an exchange student!

Families are needed to open their home to an exchange student for the 2015/16 school year. As a host family, you will gain a new global perspective and a chance to rediscover the joy in everyday activities and family traditions as you share them with an international teen.  For exchange students the year is filled with new experiences – new holidays such as Thanksgiving and other firsts like their first s’more or first football game. For some, it is their first time seeing snow or the color of autumn leaves. The students are looking forward to experiencing life in the U.S. and sharing their culture with you!

As a local coordinator, I plan monthly activities such as weekend trips to Duluth, Minneapolis, Madison, and Milwaukee or simple activities like bowling, curling, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and international potluck meals. These events give the exchange students a chance to get to know each other. Host families are invited to join us providing a unique opportunity to interact with teenagers from around the world.

In order to have a broad diversity of countries to offer host families and local schools, I work with two organizations.

Aspect Foundation has been a leader in international student exchange since 1985 and has exchange students from over 25 countries. Find more information about hosting with Aspect Foundation and see profiles of exchange students needing host families at www.aspectfoundation.org.

American Councils works with scholarship students sponsored by the U.S. State Department. These students go through a competitive process of essays and interviews and are chosen based on their fluency in English, academic performance, teacher recommendation, and leadership potential. These programs are designed to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and over 50 participating countries. Learn more at:  inbound.americancouncils.org.

A video was filmed last spring in New Auburn featuring a local couple and their exchange students from Pakistan and Egypt. It shows the bond they created with their two “sons” and the positive impact that the American Councils students made at school and in the New Auburn community. You can watch it here: http://inbound.americancouncils.org/our-stories/open-your-heart-and-just-do-it-american-councils

Exchange students have a variety of interests – sports, scouts, youth groups, piano, art, dance, choir, and more. I will work with you to find a student that is well matched to your family and then be available to answer any questions throughout the ten month exchange program.

Exchange students speak English at a high school level. They have health insurance and their own spending money for clothes, school expenses, and entertainment.

There is no such thing as a traditional host family. We accept single people, empty nesters, and families with small children, teens or no children at all. Anyone can have a great experience hosting an international teen!  Host families are asked to provide three meals a day, a bed (students can share a room with a sibling of the same gender), and a caring and supportive home environment.

Contact Dixie Klemish at 715-237-2883 (evenings or weekends) or dixie.klemish@gmail.com for more details on becoming a host family. [/emmeber_protected]