The Benefits and Joys of Hosting an Exchange Student

Opening your home to an exchange student enriches family life in numerous unexpected ways. From cultural exchange to lasting friendships, the experience can be as rewarding for the host family as it is for the visiting student. Lets explore some of the key benefits and joys that come with hosting an exchange student.

Cultural Exchange

Hosting an exchange student provides a unique opportunity for cultural exchange right in your own home. You’ll learn about the student's country, traditions, and lifestyle, and share your own. This interaction fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for global diversities, and often dispels common stereotypes and misconceptions.

Language Learning

Your family will have the chance to learn or practice a new language. While the exchange student will likely be practicing English, they can also teach you some of their language. This can be a fun and interactive way for the whole family to acquire new language skills together.

Educational Opportunities

Both the host family and the exchange student gain educational benefits. Exchange students share information about their educational system and experiences back home, which can provide new insights and perspectives on educational practices worldwide.

Building Lasting Friendships

Many host families and exchange students forge deep connections that last a lifetime. Hosting an exchange student can start as a cultural exchange and end with having an extended family member in a different part of the world.

Personal Development

For families, especially those with children, hosting an exchange student can foster personal growth. The exchange students range in age from 17 to 18.  Your children learn empathy, tolerance, and the skills needed to interact successfully with diverse individuals. It can also help them become more adaptable and open-minded.

Fun and Exploration

Having an exchange student encourages the host family to become tourists in their own city. You’ll explore local attractions, share your favorite spots, and experience your everyday environment through fresh eyes. This not only rejuvenates your appreciation for your locale but also creates fun memories together.

How to Get Started

Interested in becoming a host family? Start by contacting your local exchange student coordinator, Kelly Pelkey at 682-651-7978 with    We will will guide the host family through the process, help match a student with your family, and provide ongoing support throughout the exchange period.


Hosting an exchange student is a mutually enriching experience that broadens horizons, builds bridges between cultures, and fosters global understanding. It’s an adventure in learning and friendship, all from the comfort of your own home.

  • School Year Host Requirements

    • 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 or a FLEX or YES Programs grant recipient

    • Host families are not responsible for students personal spending money or providing their medical insurance.