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

Hosting Information Request

Hosting a U.S. Government-funded international exchange student brings valuable lessons into American homes and schools in ways more effective than any book or teacher could convey. Host families and their exchange students form bonds that can last a lifetime. Host families of exchange students on J-1 visas are unpaid volunteers who open their homes to students, usually for an academic year. Host schools also welcome exchange students, who bring new perspectives to their American peers in the course of the academic year.


If you’d like to learn more about hosting an international student in the United States in your home or school, please fill in the information below. A placement organization representative will contact you. If you are living outside of the U.S., contact youthprograms@state.gov. We appreciate your interest in youth exchange!

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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:

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