American Councils for International Education is looking for individuals and families interested in hosting high school exchange students from Eastern Europe and Eurasia for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. High school students arrive to the United States on a highly selective scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
While in the U.S., students live with an American host family for one academic year. The program focuses on volunteer community service and cultural exchange and encourages students to become involved in activities that develop their leadership skills and sense of civic responsibility. A number of these students are on honor roll while studying here and stand out in their academics and involvement in extracurricular next to their American peers.
Countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine
These State Department scholarship recipients have undergone a competitive process to earn the right to represent their country. About 1 of 50 students who apply receive a scholarship to come. Each student speaks English, has full medical insurance, receives a monthly stipend, funds for school-related expenses and enrichment activities and is supported by a local coordinator in their community.
American Councils is looking for families willing to host who are able to provide students with a safe, nurturing and English-speaking environment, a place to sleep (sharing a room is okay), meals and snacks as you would normally provide a member of your family and a quiet place to study. All types of families are welcomed including those with teenagers or younger children in the home, retirees, “empty nesters”, young couples and single parent families.
Host families have expressed how rewarding it has been for their children, extended family and communities to learn about another part of the world, particularly countries that we don’t know much about like the former Soviet Union, Serbia and Montenegro, and Afghanistan.