host families welcoming their exchange students

Share Your World

Host an Exchange Student

Why Host an Exchange Student?

When you host an exchange student, you're doing more than making his or her dream come true.  As a host family, you also: 

  • Enrich your family, local high school, and community
  • Increase the mutual understanding between people of different cultures
  • Encourage peaceful relationships between the United States and other countries around the world

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Host Family?


"We actually attended our exchange daughter’s prom in Germany after our program ended. We went to celebrate her graduation there with our whole family and hers!"

- Jennifer, Host Mom in Indiana


"Sharing our culture, customs, family & home with our student while learning about their way of life is so much fun! It helps our 12-year-old daughter learn as well. Can't imagine not doing it!"

-Alicia, Host Mom in California


"One month after our exchange student left, our daughter traveled to Spain to visit with her and her family. They missed each other so much! This was 2 years ago and they still talk almost daily. "

-Rita, Host Mom in Maryland

Exchange student with host parent

"Somehow I got so lucky 5 years ago. My host dad didn't just open his home to me but showed me what being a great dad looks like. Being called 'daughter' by him is something I will always be proud of.  "

-Flavia, former ISE Exchange Student 

How Do I Become a Host Family?

Contact Us

Complete our host family interest form to receive more information, connect with a local ISE representative, and meet exchange students who are awaiting a host family in your area.

Complete Your Host Family Application

Fill out our host family application so that we can get to know a little bit more about you, your family, and your lifestyle. The more detail you provide, the easier it is to match you with your perfect student.

Choose Your Exchange Student

Once your application is accepted, you'll be able to work with a local representative to select the best exchange student for your family. Your representative will assist you in finding a compatible match based on your lifestyle, family dynamics, hobbies, and interests.

Make Your Introductions

Once matched with an exchange student, don't delay in getting to know one another! Starting a dialogue before your student’s arrival will set the stage for a smooth, happy adjustment to life in your family. Email, social media, and international messenger apps are great ways to get started!

Treat Your Student as a Member of Your Family

Our cultural exchange students are not guests; they are family members. Adjusting to life in your family and contributing to the household is a vital part of the exchange program. Students participate in family meals and activities, obey house rules, help with chores, attend your local high school, and put forth an effort to learn about your way a life while sharing their own.

Take Advantage of the ISE Support Network

To ensure our host families have the best hosting experience possible, ISE provides a dedicated local representative who will be there for you every step of the way. ISE also has a 24-hour hotline, online host family community, and full-time program support department.

How Our Program Works

Follow one of our international exchange students and her host family as they give us a glimpse into what our cultural exchange program is all about.


Do You Enjoy Hosting an Exchange Student and Would Like Additional Income?

Join Our Team of Area Representatives

If you enjoy hosting exchange students and would like to get more involved, then join our team of Area Representatives. If you are currently hosting a student with ISE, or just looking for a source of extra income, you can receive compensation for the following:

  • Recruiting new host families
  • Placing students with volunteer host families
  • Supervising local exchange students.

Our Area Representatives not only get paid for these tasks, but can earn a trip on our annual Celebration of Success trip!

Host Family Blog

Read more about the experience of hosting an exchange student with ISE