Host families needed for exchange students
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 11:56 am
Foreign high school students are scheduled to arrive soon for academic semester program homestays, and the sponsoring organization, Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E), needs a few more local hosts. Americans mentor international teenagers and provide a caring environment, a room and daily meals.
P.I.E. area representatives match students with host families by finding common interests and lifestyles through an informal in-home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review student information to select the perfect match. There is no such thing as a typical host family. One can be married, single, retired, with children or no children. The international teenagers are ages 15-18 years old, have their own spending money, are academically strong, speak English well enough to attend a public high school, and are waiting to hear from a friendly American.
The international students have accident and health insurance and are anxious to share their cultural experiences with their new American families. P.I.E. currently has programs to match almost every family’s needs, ranging in length from a semester to a full academic year, where the students attend local high schools.
Families who host for P.I.E. are also eligible to claim a $50 per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month they host a sponsored student.
For the upcoming school year, P.I.E. has students from Germany, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Belgium, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, China, Denmark, Thailand and other countries.
P.I.E. is a non-profit educational organization that has sponsored more than 20,000 students from 40 countries since its founding in 1975. The organization is designated by the United States Department of State and is listed by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), certifying that the organization complies with the standards set forth in CSIET’s Standards for International Educational Travel Programs.
Families are encouraged to contact the program immediately, as it will allow the proper time for the students and hosts to get to know one another before they actually meet for the first time. People interested in learning more about student exchange or arranging for a meeting with a community representative may call P.I.E. toll-free at 1-888-743-8721. The agency also has possibilities for community volunteers to assist and work with area host families, students and schools.
Published in The WCP 3.22.12