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As we continue to move into a globalized world, foreign exchange programs are a great way to learn how to adapt quickly to changing situations.
And one of the favorite host countries for international students is the United States because of its high quality of education, rich culture, and tradition.
As a result, the United States welcomes foreign students worldwide every year.
And for an American family, it can be an excellent way to earn extra income.
Read on to learn how to get paid to host foreign exchange students.
What Is A Foreign Exchange Student
A foreign exchange student is a high school or college student who travels to a new country to live and study.
The student will attend classes at a local high school or university and at the same time learn the culture.
What Is The Point Of Foreign Exchange Student Program
By participating in a foreign exchange program, a foreign exchange student will open up himself to a world of opportunity.
The student will broaden his perspective to different values and understand cultural differences.
As an exchange student, he will have the opportunity to improve his communication skills and critical thinking.
These skills will play an essential part in shaping his future career.
How Does Hosting A Foreign Exchange Student Work
Hosting a foreign exchange student means welcoming a student from abroad into your home for a certain period.
You are expected to provide the student with a relaxed and nurturing environment.
Think of it as having a new family member to include in your regular activities. The only difference is that they will not stay forever.
Benefits Of Hosting A Student
Hosting a foreign exchange student can be rewarding and can be beneficial not only to the student but also to you as the host as well.
Here are some of the benefits of hosting a foreign exchange student,
- You are helping someone achieve their goals by guiding and encouraging them.
- The entire family will gain a new family member, a new life-long relationship and at the same time grow your international connections.
- You and other family members will learn a new language and understand a new culture without leaving your home.
- If you have children, it will allow them to broaden their perspective on the world by learning more about geography, different cultures, and traditions.
- You earn extra income for your family.
How Much Will You Get Paid Hosting Foreign Exchange Students
Do you get paid to host foreign exchange students? Yes and No.
Hosting a foreign exchange student also has its financial perks. You can earn anywhere from $30 a day to $1400 per month.
However, suppose the student comes on a J-1 visa program. In that case, it is all voluntary, and you as the host family will not receive a stipend but a tax exemption.
At the time of this writing, you can claim a flat $50 per month tax deduction.
On the other hand, if the student comes on an F-1 visa program, you will receive a monthly stipend.
The stipend or extra income will depend on the length of stay, homestay company, and location of the family.
TWO TYPES OF EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Study Abroad Program
The student will focus on their studies full time and will not have much time to immerse himself in American culture.
This program calls for a long-term stay as the student usually stays until he finishes his studies. Therefore, allowing the host family to get paid.
The student on this program usually stays for a brief period, anywhere between one week to a full year.
The student’s focus is to immerse himself as much as possible in American life and culture.
That said, volunteer host families do not get paid for hosting the student.
Requirements For A Host
Almost anybody can host a foreign exchange student because there is no typical host family model. There are many types of families.
A host family can be a married couple with kids, empty nesters with adult children, single parents, family with young kids, family with teens, grandparents, and married couples with no children.
Here are the primary host family requirements,
- Private bedroom with a bed, closet, and a desk.
- Three quality meals a day.
- Transportation to and from school for all academic-related activities.
- A laundry facility to use
Responsibilities Of Host Parents
In addition to the basic requirements, here are some things that a host family is expected to do.
- Allow the student to participate in the family’s regular daily and social activities.
- Provide a nurturing and supportive environment for the student.
- Help the student to adapt to American life and culture.
- Provide a safe and secure living environment.
- Encourage students to participate in school and community events.
Step By Step Guide On How To Host
1| Find a hosting agency in your region.
As the number of foreign exchange students increases, homestay agencies also increase.
Therefore do your due diligence and make sure that your chosen agency is certified by the Council on Standards For International Education Travel.
Some of the companies worth checking are:
2| Complete the application process.
- Provide basic information about your family, home, and community
- Be ready to provide references
- Submit for criminal background check
- Receive an in-home visit
3| Select your international exchange student.
The homestay agency will find a foreign exchange student who matches you.
They will also obtain acceptance for the student’s enrollment for the academic year, school start and end dates, and other requirements.
4| Get ready for your student.
This step can include getting to know your student. You can start to communicate via social media, emails, or phone calls.
Some agencies have a local coordinator who will host family orientation before the student arrives to help you get ready.
5| Meet Your Student
After preparing your home for your student, the most exciting part comes when you drive to the airport to pick up your student.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE HOSTING
Although there is no fee for hosting a foreign exchange student, and they usually come with their own spending money, you will still have to consider the cost of hosting one.
You will be adding a new person to your household, which would mean more water and electricity used, resulting in increased utility bills.
Here are some tips you can do to save on your utility bills.
You will also need to up your food budget. After all, you will have an extra mouth to feed. You may need to modify your grocery budget and your dining out budget.
Here’s how you can save on your groceries.
You will expect to spend more on gas as you will be driving your student to and from school. Sometimes, you are expected to drive them to extracurricular activities.
It will not be a problem for parents who are already driving their own children to school. However, it will be an added expense for those who don’t have kids.
As a host, you will be providing a bedroom for your student. And to make your student comfortable, you may need to purchase a new mattress, pillows, sheets, towels, etc.
You may even need to hire someone to deep clean the room.
Hosting a foreign exchange student can provide a great experience for the whole family and be a fun way to earn extra income.
It is easy to qualify as anyone can be a host family. It does have its pros and cons; however, it can be a rewarding experience.
And the rewards of hosting one usually outweigh the monetary benefit.
Are you ready to get paid to host foreign exchange students?
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