Educational and Cultural Interactions, Inc.
Foreign Exchange Student Programs

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Legions of "alumni" Host Families agree that hosting a foreign exchange student enriched their perception of the world, and of their place in it. They’ve grown to appreciate both the similarities and the differences between the peoples of the world. The host family provides the foreign exchange student with a second family in another part of the world. The experience of hosting an international student brings many moments of happiness to each member of your family. But most importantly, you have the unique opportunity to grow as human beings by sharing your lives with someone from another culture.

Host Family Responsibilities

  1. The Host Family are goodwill ambassadors who understand and support the philosophy of the ECI program and provide a safe residence for the exchange Student during the school year.
  2. The Host Family must be located where the Student has no problem of transportation.
  3. The Host family provides room and board for the Student and treats the Student as a member of the family, not a guest.

Money Matters

It is extremely important that you establish a protocol for dealing with expenditures as soon as possible.  Exchange Students have their own money for personal expenses such as school lunches, uniforms, movies, toiletries, and discretionary spending.  Students might also contribute to the grocery bill if they have special dietary preferences not normally on your shopping list.  If you find yourself “treating” because the student has insufficient funds, contact your Coordinator.  You should not be subsidizing your student.  

Making the Grade

While most host parents feel compelled to monitor the study habits of foreign exchange students, they are not responsible for their academic progress.  If you've provided a quiet study area, then you've fulfilled your obligation. Concerns about academic problems should be addressed to your Coordinator.  If the situation is serious, it may be necessary to invoke Academic Probation. The student will be given a written warning that continued participation in the program depends upon significant improvement.  The Coordinator will determine the duration of probation after consultation with the central office.  


The more you communicate, the sooner your Student will feel like a member of the family. Clear up little problems before they turn into big ones. It is easier to explain procedures to your Student before you have to correct something he or she does. In general, Americans find it difficult to tell someone that they are doing something wrong. Sometimes we quietly endure rather than say anything. Your Student needs to be told if he or she does something wrong. They cannot read your mind and may misunderstand some instructions. So please, communicate often!

A Special Resource

Most issues that surface between host families and their students are easily resolved with early, expert intervention.  Don’t allow problems to escalate, and if you have concerns don’t wait for a check-in call. Your Coordinator is only a phone call away.  


Honest, open communication is the key to helping your Student fit in quickly and builds a successful relationship with your family.


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