Host an Exchange Student

  • Bring the world to your community by hosting an international student with Greenheart Exchange!

  • Overview

    Families who host foreign exchange students often experience a lifelong change as a result, developing a relationship that lasts far longer than the program. Open your heart and home to a student and perhaps you will find yourself halfway across the globe celebrating with them and their family in the years to follow your hosting experience.

    Why Host with Greenheart Exchange?
    • Experience: Since 1985, Greenheart Exchange has placed over 20,000 international exchange students with families seeking to host a foreign exchange student. Greenheart provides a strong support system to our participants and families.
    • Diversity: Students come from a range of cultures and backgrounds, with over 60 countries represented. Greenheart provides a wealth of cultural exchange opportunities for our families, communities, and students.
    • Civic-minded: Greenheart Exchange encourages all foreign exchange participants and interested host families to volunteer and give back to their host community.

    We are truly blessed with the experiences that the Greenheart Exchange program has brought to our lives.”  — The Lowry’s, a Greenheart Exchange host family in Texas

    The Department of State implemented a toll free number (1-866-283-9090) for secondary school students, which was effective August 1, 2009. The toll free number can be used by host families, exchange students and the public to report circumstances impacting the students’ health, safety and well being during their exchange visitor programs. You may also email the Department at jvisas[at]state[dot]gov.

  • Meet Our Students

    Meet some of the students we have available to host! Let us help match you with a foreign exchange student who shares your family's lifestyle and common interests:

    14 students available

    Max

    Denmark Age 15 Fall 2019

    Max is a 15 year old boy from Denmark who enjoys staying active by playing basketball and weight lifting. While relaxing, he likes to watch movies or television and listen to music. Max's favorite subject in school is math, and he considers pursuing a career in a mathematical field when he is older. While he lived in the U.S. at a very young age, Max is excited to return to a new region of the country and to immerse himself in American culture.

    Unique ID: 122019

    INTERESTS

    Cassandra

    Germany Age 17 Fall 2019

    Cassandra is a 17 year old girl from Germany who is passionate about dancing. She likes to dance ballet and modern jazz genres. Additionally, she likes to play soccer with her brother who teaches her new skills and techniques. Cassandra also enjoys reading fantasy novels and her favorite author is Derek Landy. She is excited to explore her new host community and high school, and she cannot wait to learn about American culture from her host family.

    Unique ID: 117610

    INTERESTS

    Nemo

    Thailand Age 15 Fall 2019

    Nemo is a 15 year old boy from Thailand who enjoys working with computers to play video games or chat with his friends. He likes staying active through sports like soccer, skiing, and badminton. Nemo does volunteering at his school and even was trained in CPR. He is excited to share his culture with his future host family and to continue seeking volunteer opportunities in his host community.

    Unique ID: 116131

    INTERESTS

    Home

    Thailand Age 16 Fall 2019

    Home is a 16 year old boy from Thailand who has been playing soccer since he was nine years old. He also enjoys playing video games and listening to music when he wants to relax. Home wants to become a teacher one day and teach subjects like English or social studies. He is excited to attend an American school and can't wait to meet his future host family.

    Unique ID: 116119

    INTERESTS

    Ploy

    Thailand Age 15 Fall 2019

    Ploy is a 15 year old girl from Thailand who loves to spend her free time outdoors exercising in the park near her home. She also likes reading particularly comic books and novels. Ploy loves learning languages and dreams of being an envoy some day. She is excited to come on program to improve her English, connect with the members of her community, and make unforgettable experiences.

    Unique ID: 116117

    INTERESTS

    Ice

    Thailand Age 15 Fall 2019

    Ice is a 15 year old girl from Thailand who loves to spend her free time reading. She particularly enjoys reading comics and spends time at the library when she can. Ice likes listening to music, getting exercise, and is interested in photography as well. She can't wait to learn about American culture from her host family and make lifelong friends.

    Unique ID: 118447

    INTERESTS

  • School Year Hosting

    • Choose to host for a full 10-month academic year, or a 5-month semester
    • Provide a separate bed, 3 meals daily, and local transportation
    • Treat your exchange student as a member of the family
    • Host families can choose between students who are on program in the U.S. on the J-1 Visa, the F-1 Visa or a FLEX or YES Programs grant recipient
    • Host families are not responsible for students personal spending money or providing their medical insurance
  • Summer Hosting

    Each year hundreds of international students come to the U.S. on our Short-term Cultural Exchange programs. While some travel in a group, others travel independently, yet they are all visiting the U.S. to experience American culture and to improve their English language skills.

    Hosting one of these students is a great way to get a taste of what it’s like to be a host family. Greenheart Exchange seeks families in various communities in the U.S. to host a few short weeks during the summer or over a holiday break.

    Short-term Hosting Basics
    • Choose a student who is traveling as part of the Group Homestay program, or an individual with the Individual Homestay program
    • Most students come for 1-4 weeks during the summer months (June, July, August)
    • Students come from several countries throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America
    • All participants travel on the B-1/2 Tourist Visa and come with their own spending money and medical insurance

    To learn more about hosting a group homestay participant, click here. If you are ready to begin hosting and want to fill out an application, click here.

    Group Locations 2019
    LocationDates NationalityContact
    Carlsbad/Oceanside, CA3/23 - 4/4JapanSarah Gray
    Portland, OR4/13 - 4/27GermanyLindsay Muller
    Ontario, CA 6/26- 7/24SpanishRosanna Islas
    Greater Boston Area6/30- 7/28Multinational (Spanish + French)Michelle Cahoon
    Orlando area7/8 - 7/28FranceLonita Giovannini
    East Dundee/Elgin, IL area7/8 - 7/28FranceTammy Zilinski
    Oneida, NY7/8-7/29Multinational (Spanish + French)Sarah Schiralli
    Carlsbad/Oceanside, CA7/23 - 8/6JapanSarah Gray
    Frankfort, IL area8/5 - 8/26FranceEmily Meszaros
  • FLEX and YES Hosting

    Greenheart Exchange administers FLEX and YES Grant programs for international high school exchange students. Both programs are done in partnership with the U.S. Department of State by a consortium of nonprofit organizations led by American Councils for International Education.

    Hosting a FLEX or YES Exchange Student

    Bring more understanding to the world by starting with your family and community! FLEX and YES students are recruited and selected as the top students in their home countries. They go through a rigorous selection process before they are awarded a scholarship to participate in the program.

    Here are just a few reasons why you should host a FLEX or YES student:

    • FLEX and YES students arrive eager to learn more about American values and ideals.
    • They are required to participate in activities that teach civic responsibility.
    • FLEX and YES students hope to serve as effective ambassadors and to bring stereotypical barriers down in communities across the United States.

    Fill our “Host Now” inquiry form to get started!

    About the FLEX Program

    The Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) was established in 1992 shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. The program provides an opportunity for students to gain leadership experience, learn about American society, and foster mutual understanding across cultures.

    FLEX students are from the following countries (may vary annually): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.

    The Department of State recognizes that youth exchange is a key component to building bridges between citizens of the U.S. and countries around the world.

    About the YES Program

    The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) was established in October 2002, in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The program awards scholarships to high school students from countries with a significant Muslim population.

    YES students come from more than 40 countries.

    Application Information for Participants

    Interested participants should apply through American Councils, as Greenheart Exchange only acts as an approved placement organization but is not responsible for recruitment of participants.

  • FAQs

    Who can host?

    Located in every state, volunteer host families provide our young ambassadors a wide range of landscapes, climates, activities, and lifestyles. Greenheart Exchange Host Families are also flexible and open-minded, are age 26 or older, and represent the diversity of American culture. Our families are of varied economic, religious and racial backgrounds and include working parents, empty nesters, singles and single parents.

    What would be expected of me and my family?

    The health and safety of each student is our highest priority and so we ask our host families to abide by regulations of the U.S. Department of State and policies outlined by Greenheart Exchange and the Council of Standards for International and Educational Travel (CSIET), as well as, provide:

    • Open communication, encouragement, patience and sound advice
    • A separate bed, which can be in a shared room with a host sibling of similar age and same gender, and a quiet place to study
    • Three daily meals
    • Local transportation (students are not permitted to drive while on the program)
    • Treatment as a member of the family, which may include household rules, responsibilities and privileges
    How long does a student stay?

    Most students are attending high school for a full school year, which is 10 months, generally September through June. A handful of students come for only one semester (5 months) and start in either the fall or winter semester. We also have participants who come on short term (2 – 8 week) programs, primarily in the summer.

    What do I have to pay for?

    Greenheart exchange students come with their own spending money and are responsible for paying for their own activities and costs incurred for school functions. You will need to pay the extra, minimal costs, associated with housing another person, such as utility bills, increase in groceries, etc.

    Will my exchange student be covered under my health insurance?

    Students have their own accident and health insurance coverage during their stay. They will not have to join your health plan.

    Do I get paid to be a host family?

    Generally, hosting on Greenheart programs is a volunteer opportunity. For J1 high school programs, the Internal Revenue Service has authorized families to claim a $50 per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns.

    What if my family or my student have trouble with adjustment issues or any other issues during their program? How does Greenheart Exchange support me?

    Host families and students have access to 24-hour support and advice from your Local Coordinator, who will help pair you with a student, promote the program to your community, and monitor your experience during your student’s stay.

    I’m ready to host! How do I get started?

    First complete our inquiry form. You’ll receive an email with login information to our online database where you will access the application. You will also be contacted by a Local Coordinator in your area.

    Have more questions?

    Call us toll-free at 800-634-4771. We’re more than happy to answer any question you may have.

  • Place and Support Students

    Extroverted. Passionate. Self-starter. These are just some of the qualities that our best Local Coordinators possess. These curious and motivated individuals have the rewarding job of finding families in their community who are interested in hosting a foreign exchange student. Local Coordinators also monitor and supervise exchange students and help them adjust to their new life in America.

    As a Local Coordinator you will be expected to:
    • Actively seek volunteer host families in their community
    • Provide guidance and support to your foreign exchange students and host families
    • Build relationships with local high schools
    • Represent Greenheart Exchange and other Greenheart programs in a professional manner
    • Provide information to American students,families, and communities interested  study and travel abroad through Greenheart Travel or other Greenheart related opportunities.
    As a Local Coordinator:
    • You are an Independent contractor role (eligible to earn a payment)
    • Have the ability to Part-time, work from home
    • Must be at least 26 years old
    • Grow skills sets with the ability to attend professional development and training workshops
    • Have opportunity for domestic and international travel to annual conferences
    • Experience the rich world of cultural exchange and bring your community closer together through the support of the Greenheart Exchange family.
    Get Started
    1. Tell us you’re interested! Complete the inquiry form and a representative in your area will get in touch with you.
    2. Complete an online application.
    3. Have a phone interview and discuss next steps.
    4. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
  • Application Process

    1. Fill out the inquiry form and tell us about you and your family!
    2. Look for an email or expect a call from a Greenheart Exchange Local Coordinator (someone who lives in your area). They will answer any questions and provide you with more information about the hosting experience.
    3. Complete an online host family application.
    4. Meet your local coordinator in-person.
    5. Select your exchange student.
    6. Welcome to the Greenheart Family! Get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
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