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Information for prospective host families of

foreign exchange students

Becoming a
Host Family
With Ambassador Student
Exchange

2018 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.


Ambassador Host Families

Contents
BECOME A HOST FAMILY ............................................................................................................ 1

SELECT STUDENT ....................................................................................................................... 1

MEET STUDENTS ........................................................................................................................ 3

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS .............................................................................................. 5

MEET THE AMBASSADOR TEAM .................................................................................................. 6

CONTACT AMBASSADOR ............................................................................................................ 6

BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................................... 7

INDEX ......................................................................................................................................... 8
Host Family Information 1

Become a Host Family


Welcoming a foreign exchange student into your family is a rewarding, life-
changing experience. As an Ambassador host family, youll welcome a new
family member into your home, share your day-to-day lives, and build
lifelong friendships. You can introduce your family to a new language and culture and share
whats about your own way of life. See your world through the fresh eyes of your exchange
student and learn what matters in other cultures. All you need is a willingness to welcome
someone new into your family and invite them to participate in whatever it is that makes your
days memorable: a neighborhood block party, a high school basketball game, ghost stories
around a campfire, or breakfast in bed on your birthday.

Figure 1: Ambassador exchange students

As the U.S. Department of State says, There is no typical host family: families with teens, no
children, young children, children who have grown, single parents, and grandparents, all can be
host families (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). If you have the interest, Ambassador
Student Exchange will talk to you about your participation and preferences, and then help you
in matching an exchange student to your family.

Select Student
Following is an overview of the steps involved in becoming a host family, including completing
the application, choosing a student, greeting the student, and then hosting the student. For
more information about meeting exchange students, see Meet Students.
Host Family Information 2

Host
Meet Student
Select student
Express student
interest

Figure 2: Steps to becoming a host family

1. Families who are interested in hosting a student meet with a local Ambassador
representative.1 The representative guides the family through the application steps,
which include completing an online form, hosting a home visit, participating in an
interview, and authorizing a background check.
2. After you are accepted into the Ambassador Student Exchange program as a host
family, your local representative will send you profiles of students looking for host
families in the United States. You will meet with your representative to select a
student, one that will be a perfect match for your family.
3. Meet your student at the nearest international airport a week or so before the start
of the school semester. At the airport and throughout the semester, an
Ambassador representative is available to make sure the transition begins and
continues to go smoothly.2
4. While your student is living with you, theyll be much more than a guest. Instead,
theyll be like a true member of the family. In exchange, youll become part of their
family in their home country.

Host families report that having an exchange student is the next best thing to living overseas.
Hosts see the United States through the eyes of another culture, appreciate their family
customs and traditions in a new way, and gain a new family member for life (Lampur 24).

Get to Know Ambassador Students


Students in high schools around the world choose to be Ambassador exchange students to
experience life in the United States, perfect their English speaking skills, and grow into special
young adults with an expanded sense of the world. In exchange, host families enjoy the

1
Representatives are often members of families who hosted an exchange student in previous years.
2
Students also complete a full orientation.
Host Family Information 3

students enthusiasm, curiosity, and perspective. The following table outlines what it takes to
be an Ambassador exchange student. Talk to your Ambassador representative for more details.

Assessment What We Look for


Interview Leadership skills, maturity, open-mindedness, and well-rounded interests
Language Students must have an ELTiS English proficiency score of 212.3
Health Required immunizations
Age At least 15 years old
Transcript Balanced course selection, consistent grades, and evidence of perseverance
The assessments and qualities we look for are based on the success of previous Ambassador
students and the international guidelines for exchange programs, which emphasize
communication, independence, critical thinking, and flexibility (International Association for
Student Exchange).

Meet Students
Ambassador sponsors students to visit the United States from around the world, usually in the
summer before they begin their exchange semester.

Figure 3: Meet students from around the world.

Although host families do not select students at this stage, you can meet students a few
months before making a selection. These are students who want to experience life in the

3
The English Language Test for International Students is a standardized test measuring listening and
reading comprehension.
Host Family Information 4

United States as a member of a family, school, and community. If you hit it off with a student,
you can add his or her name to your invitation list.

Experts say The key to the success of an exchange student program lies in matching qualified
students with suitable families in a school willing to make a contribution to international
awareness and understanding at the grassroots level (Nunez).

Learn About Home Countries


One of the major benefits of hosting an exchange student is learning about a new culture
without leaving your home. Ambassador students come from 12 countries around the world.
The following pie chart shows where we find most of our students.
Host Family Information 5

Home Countries of Ambassador Students


Other Austria
14% 12%

Denmark
10%
Japan
14%

Italy
Germany
18%
32%

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to host?
All types of families are encourage to apply. Families can have small children or teens
living at home. They can be single adults or single parents. If your family is busy with
activities and obligations, you can take advantage of your Ambassador representative,
who will connect you with support resources.
What is required of host families?
Host families provide the student with room and board and welcome the student as a
member of the family, not as a guest. In addition, hosts offer support and guidance as
students make the transition from their home country to the United States. Students
cover their own travel costs, health insurance, school expenses, and spending money.
Do host families receive compensation for hosting?
Host families are volunteers and do not receive financial compensation. The U.S.
Department of State says that you can claim a flat $50 per month tax deduction as an
American host family for the coming tax year (Placeholder1).
How long do students stay with host families?
Students stay for one semester and arrive either mid-August or mid-January.
What if it doesnt work out?
Host Family Information 6

Ambassador has many years of experience in matching students with families and we provide
extensive, frequent support throughout the semester. If the arrangement does not work out,
however, we will move the student to another family at no cost to you.

Meet the Ambassador Team


The Ambassador Student Exchange support team is based in Chicago, Illinois, with
representatives in cities, towns, and schools across the United States. The following team
members train Ambassador representatives, meet and screen students, visit schools and host
families, and provide support in every way they can to make sure our exchange programs are
worthwhile, memorable experiences.

Contact Ambassador
If youd like to learn more about hosting an international student in the United States in your
home or school, please fill in the information below. An Ambassador representative will contact
you.

Name Click here to enter full name. Date Click here to enter a date.

Click here to enter email


Photo Email address
address.

Zip code Click here to enter zip code. Host or rep? Choose an item.

If you have a preference, please indicate which of the following home countries you prefer for your
exchange student.

Austria Italy Peru


Denmark Japan Philippines
France Mexico Spain
Germany Morocco Taiwan
Host Family Information 7

Bibliography
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Commonly Asked Questions. 1 March 2019.
Electronic. 20 April 2020.

International Association for Student Exchange. "Skills and Characteristics of Successful


Exchange Students." Secondary Education Today 13 December 2019: 30-32. Print.

Lampur, Harriet. "Student Exchange Programs: Who Benefits?" International Education Monitor
23 January 2020: 20-25. Print.

Nunez, David. Global Insights. 12 February 2019. Electronic. 4 April 2020.


Host Family Information 8

Index

benfits, 1
Ambassador representative, 2, 3, 5, 6 characteristics, 1, 5
Ambassador team, 6 eligibility, 5
application steps, 2 requirements, 5

contact Ambassador, 6 invitation list, 4

exchange program, length, 5 student, assessments, 3


exchange student, 1, 2, 3, 4 student, meet, 2, 4
student, select, 2
home countries, 4
host family U.S. Department of State, 1
benefits, 4