Citizen Diplomats Support Foreign Policy by Hosting International Exchange Students

Posted by J. Adam Ereli
August 9, 2011
Parents Help Their Sons With Their Homework

Each year the State Department sponsors more than 2,000 highly promising youth from around the world to study in the United States and experience life in America. Thousands of American families welcome these students into their hearts and homes each year. The home-stay component of the program is undoubtedly the most important part of the visit. By volunteering to be a host family, you and your family can benefit from the amazing experience this program offers.

Hosting an international exchange student benefits everyone involved. Your entire family will learn about a new country and culture without leaving home. Host families and exchange students share daily life, meals, and holidays. They discuss current events in their respective communities and explore cross-cultural perceptions and values. This intimacy creates lasting relationships that ultimately shape the United States' reputation abroad.

We choose these students carefully for their leadership skills, language abilities, academic achievements, and adaptability. The merit-based selection process is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of less than 2 percent of the 200,000 applicants, each student who comes here is talented, motivated, and well-rounded.

The program hinges on the goodwill and generosity of the volunteer host families. They represent America's diversity and cultural richness to these students and, by extension, to the world. If you are open to new experiences and to sharing your guidance, love, and support with a teenager far from home, please consider volunteering your family to host an international student.

Learn more here.



Vicki O.
Texas, USA
August 12, 2011

Vicki in Texas writes:

I am a host mom to two students this year, one from Norway, the other from Japan. I love hosting so much, I've decided to help place students with host families in the Houston TX area. If you are interested in hosting, please contact me at

Maureen D.
Maryland, USA
August 12, 2011

Maureen in Maryland writes:

Host with AFS, we have hosted many times, my kids went abroad with AFS and our lives have been changed ever since. AFS has wonderful local support and is the oldest exchange progam in the world. You can contact AFS at
or if you live in the DC area call Chana Hays at 202 270 8687

Isaac o.
United States
August 12, 2011

Isaac in Ghana writes:

I am in GHANA ,and want to be a host family.

Chana H.
District Of Columbia, USA
August 12, 2011

Chana in Washington, D.C. writes:

If you live in the Washington area, I recommend hosting with AFS Intercultural Programs. They have a huge local organization of volunteers and have terrific support for their students and families. I've hosted with AFS and sent my own son abroad. I would not host with any other organization.

Fred H.
United States
August 12, 2011

Fred in the U.S.A. writes:

We've hosted over 30 students with AFS Intercultural Programs. It is a great pleasure to work with this volunteer organization and watch the way they encourage young people to understand the world around them including the American culture. we encourage everyone to consider hosting with AFS.

Kansas, USA
August 12, 2011

Kathy in Kansas writes:

We just welcomed our first international exchange student into our family last night! We are looking forward to showing Benjamin (from Germany) all things we love about living in the states.


Latest Stories

February 6, 2016

On the North Korean Missile Launch

The United States strongly condemned today's missile launch by North Korea. The launch represents yet another destabilizing and provocative action… more