Hosting an exchange student offers families the opportunity to connect with the world in a way that few activities can. For the students they host, exchange is a life-changing opportunity to be fully immersed in American culture.
EF Foundation for Foreign Study is the leader in high school exchange. Since 1979, EF Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has placed more than 100,000 students with caring families across the US. EF students are 15-18 years old and come from 25 fascinating countries including Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Norway, Japan, Italy and Australia.
EF Foundation host families come in all shapes and sizes – from families with children at home to empty nesters and couples without kids – and can host from two to ten months. To ensure a great experience, a local EF Foundation coordinator works closely with the host family to select a student who shares their interests, values and lifestyle. This coordinator also works with the local high school to secure a spot for the exchange student, then checks in monthly with all participants to ensure that the exchange is going well.
Per State Department regulations, hosting is a volunteer activity. But only EF Foundation offers its families access to more than 250,000 local and online discounts and coupons through its EF Family Perks program, plus special pricing on other EF travel products.
At Tripping, we believe in the power of cultural exchange and in the impact a host family can make on a student’s life. Our CTO, Girts Graudins, is originally from Latvia and first came to the United States through a high school exchange program. He shared his personal experiences with his host family with us:
They really were my family here. They were on the front lines of dealing with the culture shock and all the language differences. To help get me up to speed on the constant movie references, they watched dozens of old movies with me. All these years later, we still stay in frequent touch by phone and see each other a couple times a year. In fact, I see them more often than I see my Latvian family back home.
If you are interested in making a profound difference in a young person’s life by opening your home to a high school student from abroad, meet the incoming students today at www.effoundation.org.