World Heritage looking for families to host exchange students

World Heritage Student Exchange Program is looking for host families to place remaining students before the Aug. 31 deadline for applications.  (Contributed)

World Heritage Student Exchange Program is looking for host families to place remaining students before the Aug. 31 deadline for applications. (Contributed)

By CLARKE STACKHOUSE/ Staff Writer

World Heritage Student Exchange Program is looking for host families for the 2016-2017 school year.

World Heritage assistant to the director Milena Surducan said the exchange program is all about a cultural exchange and adding a new member to the family.

“We want the experience to be all about an exchange and sharing of two cultures,” she said. “The student learns from their host and the families can learn from their student.”

Surducan said they place around 250 high school students from over 30 countries across the nation.

“We have most of the students placed, but we have a few we need to get placed before our deadline on Aug. 31,” she said.

She said couples and families with or without children are encouraged to host a student for a semester or the entire school year. People interested in hosting can apply online at whhosts.com. She said after hosts finish the application process a community representative will contact them and conduct a home visit.

“If all goes well with meeting our representatives the family can choose their student,” Surducan said. “We want everyone to be comfortable with each other and allow the host family to choose who they think will be the best fit.”

She said the representatives serve as a guide through the program and are required to have monthly visits with the students and keep in contact with them throughout their experience.

Surducan said each student is insured and brings their own spending money and is expected to contribute to household responsibilities, as well as being included in family activities.

“We want them to get a true feeling of different American cultures,” Surducan said. “We look for families who have the same sense of adventure many of our students do.”

She said the exchange began in 1980 as Spanish Heritage focusing on Hispanic cultures and students and has expanded to incorporate more countries and cultures.

For more information on hosting an exchange student call 1(800) 888-9040, email info@world-heritage.org or visit their website.