Q&A’s

What is the cost of my family to have an exchange student? The cost is very minimal; it’s like having another member of the family.  Treat the student as a family member, if you’re taking your family out to dinner or doing an activity include your student.  A good way to look at it is, if you pay for everyone in your family to participate in an activity, then pay for your student.   If all your children pay for their own things/activities, then the student can pay for theirs. The exchange student come with their own money to pay for items such as souvenirs, entrance fees, personal hygiene items, special food they may want for themselves, and extra activities they want to participate in.  Just be aware that they do have a limited amount of money, so be wise in the activities you plan.  Treat them how you would want your own children to be treated if they were an exchange student in a foreign land.

Will the exchange student speak English? The ability to communicate in English varies with each student.  Most exchange students have worked really hard and have learned some English. They typically will be able to read and write better than they can speak.  They also may be able to understand well but are hesitant to speak. As they interact with your family and friends you’ll be able to watch as their English improves. Most of the students also come with their own electronic translator. There are a few free online translators that can be used too. If they are not able to communicate well enough in English, remember that hand gestures, body language, and the written words often make things more clear. If you still need help, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have staff that can speak the same language as your student and our happy to help.

Can I still host an exchange student with the busy life my family leads? Yes, of course, your exchange student becomes part of your family. If your family has errands to run, camps to attend, or chores to take care of around the house, the exchange student does them too. The exchange student is here for an American experience and is excited to be a part of what your family is doing.

Are we good candidates for hosting? There is no typical Host Family. The students enjoy staying on farms, in small towns, suburbs, and big cities. To host a student for the summer program, you must have a child in your home who is the same gender as the exchange student and within two years of the same age.  The student must also have their own bed.

Hosting a Chaperone doesn’t have the same requirements as the student list above, except for the bed. Chaperones are older and here to have a host family experience too. They will contact their students about twice during their homestay to check in with them and report back to their home country.

Can we host 2 exchange students? To help make the homestay experience more memorable for both the family and the student, only 1 student per host family is placed in the same home.

What are the students like? They are just like your kids. They students have worked really hard to come to the United States and are very excited to be here. The students want to be part of the an American family. They will help out around the house with chores and participate in the family activities.

What if a student gets sick or injured? There are times when an exchange student may get sick or injured during their stay in the US. Take care of the exchange student as you would your own child. If you would take your child to the doctor or emergency room, do the same for your exchange student. All students have their own insurance for medical emergencies. Please contact your representative as soon as possible if your student becomes ill or injured. The representative will take care of notifying all the appropriate people.

Do the students come with their own insurance? Exchange students do come with their own insurance to take care of their medical emergencies. Their chaperones have the necessary information. If there is an emergency, please contact a your representative immediately and keep them informed of the situation.

What if our student gets homesick? Sometimes the students may become homesick. It usually happens when they first arrive; they are in a completely new environment, and everything is different to them. The best thing to do is keep them active, include them on the family schedule and activities, let them get to know and become comfortable with your family, and if needed give them a hug.

What do exchange students like to eat? Exchange students are excited to be in America and excited to be trying new foods. There are times when the student may crave some of their country’s native food. A good idea is to have your student prepare a dinner one or two nights. It makes for a great family fun night and everyone can learn a little more about the student’s country.

Will our student abide by the rules of our home? Your student will be expected to behave as a member of your family and follow all of the rules and expectations of your household.

Could one of our children have the opportunity to go to Japan for a home stay? Yes, they could. There are scholarships and fundraising available. Please contact your representative for more information or send an email to hosting@myfamilyexchange.com.

Do host families receive compensation for hosting?  We are a volunteer program, but there are so many benefits to hosting an exchange student:  having a new culture in your own home (no travel expense); making new friends; and memories that will last a lifetime.  You are also welcome to join us for any of the activities we do through out the year.  Make sure to sign up for the newsletter so you can stay up to date on everything.

What kind of support will our family and student receive? You have the full support from all of us. You will be given contact information for your representative. They are there to answer any questions or help with anything you or the student may need.

What if we have emailed our student and we haven’t hear from him/her?  We encourage communicating with your student before they arrive in the US so you can start forming a bond and friendship. If you are having trouble contacting your student please send an email to hosting@myfamilyexchange.com and we will help get you in contact with your student.