In a time when cross-cultural experiences are more important than ever, working in the high school cultural exchange sphere is an incredibly rewarding, yet sometimes challenging, endeavor.
When considering which exchange organization to work with, you should not only consider the mission but also the tools, training, and support that’ll be available to you. These are the resources that will allow you to succeed in your role and make the most impact on your students, host families, communities, and wider world.
Here are a few of the reasons International Student Exchange (ISE) stands out as the leading expert in high school cultural exchange programs, and why more and more field representatives are joining our program each year.
When working from home as a field representative, it’s important to have a database that’s user-friendly and attentive to your needs. At ISE, you won’t find a cookie-cutter, third party database. Instead, you’ll be working in a system that’s completely custom-built by developers who are well-versed in the cultural exchange industry. Within it, you’ll find everything you need to get your job done. We also offer on-demand IT assistance if any issues or questions arise, and we are always improving the system based on user feedback. Oh, and did we mention it’s mobile-friendly!
“I have worked at several different foreign exchange companies in the past. The database at ISE is the best that I have seen in this business. It allows those in the field to spend more time working with host families and students rather than doing administrative paperwork” – Michele, Regional Manager, CO
It’s our mission to provide each and every field staff member with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. To accomplish this we’ve created an entire curriculum of easy-to-follow digital courses designed to guide you through the complete process of recruiting, placing, and supervising your students. We also organize in-field training events led by our staff at headquarters to encourage cooperation and consistency across the field.
“I have worked with other organizations and their training materials tended to be outdated, but ISE has a great library of training material that is kept current and relevant.” – Joey, Program Manager, NY
Unlike some of the other exchange organizations out there, ISE issues payments daily. This means you’ll be paid immediately each time you complete a payable task (placement/supervision.) No more waiting until the end of the month!
“Nothing motivates quicker than making your first placement and NOT having to wait for “payday”. ISE pays for placements as they are made!” – Marvin, Program Manager, MI
As an organization, we believe in rewarding hard work and initiative. Because of this, we offer generous bonuses throughout each program season for making early placements. These bonuses are available to all field staff members and are not limited…meaning the more students you find host families for, the most bonuses you can earn!
The benefits of experiencing a new culture and way of life are not reserved only for our students. To bring this experience to our field staff members, we offer an annual Celebration of Success trip. Seven student placements will earn you a spot, and you can earn additional spots for friends and family by recruiting additional hosts. On this trip, you’ll have your airfare, hotel, excursions, and most meals covered by ISE…giving you the opportunity to simply relax and enjoy the local culture. Some of the places we’ve traveled to include Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Prague, Amsterdam, and Argentina!
“Not sure about other organizations, but where I started out, travel points were all or nothing. If you didn’t fully earn a guest, the points you went over were unused. Being able to use extra placement points to earn discounts for guests is a huge travel advantage.” – Laura, Program Manager, TX
As we mentioned earlier, our field staff members have access to on-demand IT support…but it doesn’t stop there! We have an online community that provides each and every field staff member with direct access to assistance from other members in the field as well as members of ISE’s staff at headquarters. We also have an in-house marketing team that offers advertising and graphic design assistance.
“The support from staff and colleagues produces a family-like team. Everyone is treated with respect from the top all the way to the field. I never knew how different each agency could be until I came to work for ISE.” – Michele, Regional Manager, CO
As you can see, ISE cares deeply about the success of our field staff members and is always striving to improve and provide the best tools that the industry has to offer. If you’re interested in joining our team or would like to learn more about the opportunity to work in cultural exchange, contact us today!
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If you would like to help an exchange students dreams come true, we invite you to read more about hosting a foreign exchange student. If you have specific questions about hosting, check out our host family FAQ page. You can also read testimonials from our past and current host families. When you feel ready, complete our host family interest form and our area representative will get in touch with you.
You can also get involved by joining our team of Area Representatives! Help match host families and exchange students and bring the world closer together, while making a supplemental income.