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?

Open up your home to a foreign exchange student and show them what life in America is really like

Learn about cultures, customs and traditions from around the world

Make new friends and create memories that will last forever

Help make a positive impact locally in your community, as well as across the world

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.

How Do I Become a Successful Host Family?

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.

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.

host mom with exchange students

Our Host Families Are What Make This Possible

Read about the amazing experiences our host families had while hosting a foreign exchange student

Host Dad in Texas

“For us, we don’t just treat our students like they are visitors — to us, they are our children”…continue reading

Host Mom in Indiana

“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!”

Host Mom in California

“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!”

Host Mom in Maryland

“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. “

Host Mom in Arkansas

“My husband and I are retired and this experience so far has been amazing. We will definitely host next year and our student this year is talking about coming back to visit after she graduates in her country next year. She will always have a home here when she is in America.”

Host Mom in Ohio

“Going into hosting, I did not know what to expect. We did not only get a boy that was coming to America for a great experience but a son, best friend, and all around great kid. He was so much more than we could have hoped for!”

Host Family Blog

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

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.

host mom with students

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most asked questions. Be sure to read our full host family FAQ to learn more

Here are the steps to host a foreign exchange student:

  1. Contact International Student Exchange and complete our host family interest form
  2. We will then send you more information, as well as our host family application. This will allow you to tell us about your family, household and lifestyle.
  3. Since safety is our priority, all potential host families must pass a background check and home check.
  4. Once accepted, you will be able to work with a local area representative to select an exchange student.

There are countless benefits to hosting an exchange student. Below you will find some of the great benefits that come along with being a host family.

  1. Experience and learn about a new culture
  2. Create a lifelong friend
  3. Have a positive impact on your family and local community

To read more about the impact you can have as a host family, check out awesome blog articles!

While successful host families may come from all walks of life, they share many of the same traits. They are welcoming, patient, understanding, and committed to their student’s success and well-being.

Read some tips and tricks from families that have done it!

Host An Exchange Student in Your State

With over 40 regional offices and host families in all 50 states, International Student Exchange helps bring foreign exchange students to every corner of the U.S.


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


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


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