Ayusa seeks Champlin host families for foreign exchange students

Every year, more than 28,000 international high school students come to the U.S. to study as part of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs.

Champlin Park High School has openings available for international students, but Ayusa still needs local families to host the students for the 2012-2013 school year. Ayusa’s international exchange students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 60 countries around the world, including France, China, Mexico, Sweden, Chile, Bangladesh, Germany, and Japan. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English.

There is no “typical” American host family and Ayusa welcomes all interested families, with or without children, from both urban and rural communities. Host families provide three meals a day and a bedroom (either private or shared). A professionally trained community representative from Ayusa works with the family, student and local school for the entire program supporting each student. All host families must pass a criminal background check and home visit from an Ayusa representative before being eligible to host.

“Hosting a foreign exchange student has many rewards. It was so much fun to have a teenager in the house again,” said Ron Nickel, Ayusa host dad from Bingham Lake, Minnesota. “We have ‘kids’ in various countries now and it is exciting to see them grow and develop into young adults, knowing you as a host family had some influence on them. If you are willing to open your home to a student, be prepared to learn a new culture and add a member to your family. The hardest part of hosting is sending them home when the year is done.”

Ayusa has been a member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) for more than 25 years, since its foundation. CSIET evaluates U.S.-based high school exchange programs so that students, families and schools can identify reputable inbound and outbound exchange organizations.

If interested in becoming a host family visit www.ayusa.org or call 1-888-552-9872.

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