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Host an Exchange Student

BECOME A HOST FAMILY

Share Your World

35 years of experience seal

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!

JOIN OUR TEAM

Bring cultural exchange to your community

EXPERIENCE THE USA

Learn more about our J-1 program and how you can study in the USA

TRAVEL & STUDY ABROAD

Experience a new way of life with our Travel & Study Abroad Programs

Host Family Testimonials

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

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.

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.

Hosting Was a Great Experience for the Entire Family

I have 3 kids, two in high school and one a senior in college at Iowa State. They came home almost in tears begging me to host an exchange student. They described him as funny, sweet, and thoughtful. They said, “Mom, you will love him.” They would not give up on asking me to please do this. So, I didn’t make any promises but said I would look into it the next day. I have always trusted my kids’ judgment. So the next day, I made a few phone calls. I asked several questions about the exchange student and since this was my first time as a host parent, about my responsibilities and obligations. I gave them permission to go ahead and get my background check going and give me the weekend to make my decision. I decided to do it. Once I met Minsoo I knew I had made the right choice. He was such a sweet, smart, and fun young man. He was the perfect fit for our family. He brought us closer together by doing fun things together that we as a family had neglected to do. We had fun late night talks full of laughter. We learned a lot about his country and before we realized it we were creating a relationship that would stay with us for a lifetime. Minsoo’s parents would send him snacks and candies from his country and he would let us try them. My son Keaton and him became best friends. Minsoo’s family sent Keaton a t-shirt from Korea which meant a lot to him. He participated in soccer and we were able to attend some of his games. Because of some circumstances with Korea’s school year, he only got to be with us for 2 months. It was an awesome 2 months and we created the best memories that my family will treasure forever. I am so happy I made the decision to be a host parent!

STEPHANIE A.

Hosting a Student Expanded Our Family Forever

Foreign exchange students in America

Our first experience as a host family was a blessing and expanded our family all the way to Germany! We hosted a girl from Germany so our 2 boys could experience having a sister and they didn’t just have a sister for a year, they have a sister for life.  She came back and visited us the following summer after she went home and then we went to Germany to visit her and meet her family.  It has been an experience of a lifetime and she will always be in our lives!  Having such a positive experience opened our hearts to hosting a boy from Spain and we look forward to him coming back to visit us this summer.  He filled our hearts with laughter and so many smiles.  His family has even visited us already! For the upcoming school year, we will again host, this time a boy from Thailand.  Our German girl has even met our soon to be Thai boy too! We just love expanding our family and knowledge of other cultures!

Marcia P.

Agreeing to Host Has Been a Life-Changing Experience

My family and I have hosted foreign exchange students with ISE. 1 from Thailand, 1 from Slovakia and 1 from Ecuador, all for 1 full school year each. I can not say enough just how this changed our world. We created an amazing bond with each student that expanded the base cultural knowledge not only of these exchange students but for our immediate and extended families as well. As much as you teach these students, these students also teach you in return. As a result of the wonderful relationships with these students, not only did we gain knowledge, but we have gained lifetime friendships that are amazing. Many of our family members have traveled to Slovakia and to Ecuador since we have hosted these students and these students have returned to visit with our family. When we opened our hearts, it opened our minds and it expanded our family forever. We are ever so thankful for the time that we had with these students! Thank you ISE for wonderful experiences.

Karen P.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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. 

HOST A STUDENT

Global friendship starts with local action. Volunteer to host a student today!

JOIN OUR TEAM

Change the world, one family at a time. Apply to become an ISE Area Representative!

STUDY ABROAD

Explore a new culture and experience a new way of life. Become an exchange student!

CONNECT WITH US

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