What is hosting?

Bring the world to you, your family and your community by opening your home or school to a high school exchange student. By hosting a student for a few weeks or an an academic year, you’ll share cultures and form bonds that can last a lifetime.
These extraordinary young people from other countries receive a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship from the U.S. government to attend local high schools and live with families in urban, rural, and suburban communities in all 50 states.

Once selected, students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance, learn about American history and society, and to participate in community service. Volunteer host families support exchange students by providing a comfortable, nurturing home, nutritious meals and transportation to and from school activities.

How do I start the process?

To complete the process, potential host families fill out an application, meet with placement staff, provide personal references, and family members 18 and older complete a background check.
Host families receive a certificate of appreciation and host schools will be recognized as partners for global diplomacy through the Medallion Program. Schools will receive:

  • School Administrator Handbook with information about our programs
  • Medallion graphics for use on your school’s website
  • Medallion banner template
  • Certificate each school year

To get started as a host family or school, please submit an interest form and a local coordinator in your area will reach out to you with more information.

The U.S. Department of State partners with non-profit placement organizations to secure host families and secondary schools for scholarship students. They also prepare and support the students, host families, and schools throughout the program. Current partners include: American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES), AFS USA, AIFS, American Councils for International Education, ASSE, Aspect, Ayusa, Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI), Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Foreign Links Around the Globe (FLAG), Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS), Program of Academic Exchange (PAX), States 4-H, STS Foundation, World Learning, World Link, and Youth for Understanding USA.