Share Your World

HOST AN EXCHANGE STUDENT

BECOME A HOST FAMILY
international-student-exchange-header-mobile

Share Your World

HOST AN EXCHANGE STUDENT

Since 1982, we've provided the opportunity for American host families, local community leaders serving as Area Representatives, and exchange students from around the world to learn, grow, and share in the cultural exchange experience together. Over the past 10 years, we've provided programs for...

HOST FAMILIES

20749

AREA REPS

4247

STUDENTS

30803

COUNTRIES

99

HOST AN EXCHANGE STUDENT

Break down barriers to friendship around the world

Become a

 Host Family!
APPLY NOW

JOIN OUR TEAM

Bring cultural exchange to your community

EXPERIENCE THE USA

Learn more about our J-1 program

STUDY ABROAD

Experience a new way of life with OUTBOUND

Host Family Testimonials

Learn About Hosting an Exchange Student from Host Families Across the USA

Hosting an Exchange Student in Our Open Home

Family photo with exchange students and host family

During the 2009-2010 school year, two families from my school hosted exchange students and I thought it would be a neat experience. We hosted our first student in 2010 and have been hosting since then. Being a host family has so many rewards! First, the bond that you make with students from other countries is unbreakable. I get messages from all my students all the time and they still call me mom. Second, it teaches your own children to open their hearts to other cultures. Third, it gives you a chance to help another person which in itself is very rewarding. My youngest child was 1 when we started hosting and she considers them to all be her brothers and sisters.
We have hosted two students from Korea, two from China, one from Brazil and one from Venezuela. I had two students decide even decide to come back and stay for a second year. This summer, my oldest is getting married and we are hoping to have most of them here so that we can get a family photo. My daughter got to go visit Brazil for two weeks when she went back with one of the exchange girls. Two of my daughters and myself got to go to China for two weeks and see the country and meet her parents. I would not change my experience for anything and we are planning on hosting again next school year.

Bonnie B.

Our First Host Family Experience

International exchange student arriving at airport

Our family made the choice to host a foreign exchange student for the 2017-2018 school year. We completed all of the necessary documents, created a family profile and had a hard time picking out what student we would like to share our home with. We finally chose a wonderful young lady from Barcelona and, once approved, we made contact prior to her arrival. It was exciting having the opportunity to get to know her, her family, and her reasons for wanting to study abroad over Skype. It felt like forever as we waited for her to arrive. The last-minute prepping of our home, trying to ensure everything was just right, the purchasing of a welcome to our family gift, writing a rules and expectations book, and making a “Welcome” sign was so exciting. The anticipation of her arrival was palpable. Finally, the day arrived that she was flying in and we anxiously waited at the airport with butterflies in our tummies and smiles on our faces. When we finally saw her walking our way she was nervously grinning from ear to ear. Having had the opportunity to have several conversations with her before her arrival made it easy for us to quickly embrace her and try our hardest to not make her feel more nervous, awkward, and overwhelmed than she already did. The first few days were a whirlwind of getting her sleep schedule adjusted, touring her new school, trying new foods and meeting classmates, family, and friends. As the days turned into weeks and then months and we really got to know her likes and dislikes and who she really was, we knew we wanted to make her stay with us as memorable as we possibly could. We exposed her to our culture by taking her to do fun things such as high school Friday night football, Reds baseball game, Cavs basketball game, Amish Country, Cedar Point Amusement Park, New York City for New Years Eve, and a trip to Cancun Mexico. While we did have boring days at home, we experienced getting to know our culture through her eyes. We were quickly reminded how much we take for granted. Seeing our world through her and watching her eyes light up at simple things made this experience well worth it for our family. Our family got extremely close with our “bonus daughter” and we knew how much she cared when our biological daughter became deathly ill and was admitted into Children’s Hospital for 3 weeks on a ventilator. Our bonus daughter was amazing during this time and so helpful by being so strong. The bond you create with these young adults is amazing. They truly do become a part of your family, as if they were meant to be there from the beginning of time. In a few short weeks we will be putting our daughter on a plane to send her home to her family. It is a day that I’m sure will be emotional for us all and we will end her trip the way it started, with butterflies in our tummies and smiles (and tears) on our faces. I have no doubt that we will always remain in contact with our bonus daughter and can only hope that as she heads home we provided her with memories to last a lifetime, as that is what I know she provided for our family.

Christy K.

Life-long Memories Through Hosting

Host family taking a picture with their exchange students

We have hosted 4 times in the past 7 years, and each girl has been the best experience we could have hoped for. The last two girls came through ISE and, sadly, will be leaving us soon. They will be taking a piece of our hearts home with them! The experience is one that I wish for every family out there. These students brought joy and laughter into our home, and it truly feels like they are a part of our biological family. The most precious part of this experience is that we now have forever family all over the world whom we can visit at anytime. These families have welcomed us with open arms and a grateful kindness that is too good to be true. We can’t speak highly enough about this program and all the good that comes from it. It has enriched us all and opened our eyes and hearts to new cultures, foods, languages, and love. We are forever grateful that these brave girls stepped out of their comfort zone and decided to live abroad in America. We are equally grateful that we decided to “give it a try” all those years ago and welcome these wonderful, smart, and loving girls into our life.

Cheryl R.

Cultural Exchange Goes Both Ways

exchange students in classroom

Hosting taught us that cultural exchange goes both ways. Our two foreign exchange students, Luya from China and Dat from Vietnam, shared information and activities from their country with elementary students at two of the local elementary schools. Each had short video clips of their country, then shared their personal story about their cities, daily lives back home and schools. Dat also taught all the students how to use chopsticks providing each with chopsticks and Chinese noodles for a hands-on lesson. Luya taught the students how to create origami hearts. Dat and Luya are natural teachers and the kids loved them. On the last day of school, one class voted that the Dat and Luya’s day at the school was their favorite day beating out the ever popular school field day.

Anne M.

We Became a Host Family and Our Student Fit Right In

Exchange students with their host family on roller coaster

Nina was the third exchange student that we’ve hosted. All exchange students are unique individuals and we’ve enjoyed that each is so different and a new experience. Nina, however, fit in so well with our family and was a great host student! We enjoyed getting to know about the customs in her family, seeing where she went to school and sharing stories. I barrel race as a hobby and she was already adept at riding a horse, having her own and competing in dressage and jumping that she picked up on barrel racing and competed with me which was special. She loved seeing new things so we made many trips to different states (8 in all!) and loved having that experience with her. My husband was deployed through 3 months of Nina being here and it was great to have someone to hang out with when he was away. We look back over the year with great memories and can’t wait to go visit Nina in her home Country of Germany!

 

Michael and Dana S.

You can learn more about becoming a host family by reading our host family blog and checking out our host family FAQ.

work-from-home_home_celebration-of-success-trip

Our Mission

International Student Exchange (ISE) fulfills its mission of “Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders” by bringing together exchange students and volunteer host families. The ISE exchange program allows international students to become familiar with the American way of life by attending local high schools, experiencing authentic family life, and participating in community service. As a result, American host families also learn about foreign cultures and make lasting friendships with the students hosted in their homes and their families.

About Us
seals_ise

Why Choose International Student Exchange

24/7 Support

ISE will never treat your experience as a one-time transaction. After all, you’re not buying a pair of shoes — you’re spending many months enrolled in a cultural exchange! As such, we offer an unparalleled level of care and support to all of our exchange students and host families. We have a fully-staffed support team, a 24/7 emergency hotline, and an online support community for our program participants.

A Non-Profit Mission

As a non-profit organization, ISE is dedicated mainly to providing wonderful cultural experiences for students and host families — at a cost that more students and their families can afford. Our mission is to bring the people of the world closer together, and our passionate network of volunteer host families makes this mission possible.

Dedication to Quality

ISE follows all rules and regulations set forth by the US Department of State. DOS compliance ensures your experience with us is safe and fun.  ISE’s exchange program has also been granted a full-listing each year since our founding by CSIET (the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel), making it a safe choice for students and host families. 

Group of foreign exchange students at parade

Our Programs

We provide a twelve-month, ten-month, first-semester, or second-semester program for international high school students. After students have been carefully screened for language, grades, and overall suitability for the program, we provide placement in public, or upon written request, private high schools. Our exchange students then live with a volunteer host family while they attend high school. We also offer various programs for American high school students to live with a vetted host family and study abroad internationally.

Why Study in the USA
ISE-Gives_Back

Doing More with ISE Gives Back

ISE Gives Back,  our philanthropic program, is designed to provide support to those crucial organizations at home and abroad that create opportunities and lend assistance to children in need so that they can grow, participate, and thrive in the global community. Children Incorporated, our domestic partner, has worked diligently for 50+ years to assist impoverished children throughout all 50 states.

About ISE Gives Back
overseas_partners

About Our Partners

ISE partners with international agencies in over 90 countries in order to facilitate quality programs for our exchange students. Each year, our trusted partners make it possible for thousands of exchange students to travel to the United States to live with a host family and experience the American way of life. We also maintain an affiliated office in China.

Partner with Us