By on June 25th, 2015

The Benefits of Hosting Exchange Students

How involved are you in the academic world or business world in your area? For instance, a great many people living and working in the San Francisco area have no idea of the long list of universities, schools, and firms offering international internships are all around them. They don’t know that many foreign exchange students arrive in the hopes of increasing their knowledge but of also experiencing American culture. And because a lot of people don’t realize this, they lose out on the many benefits of hosting students or interns.

People in locations like California, Arizona, and Florida are set within some of the most college and university-heavy regions. There are also many global businesses headquartered in these states too, and all of these locations are full of opportunities for families to play host to foreign exchange students from all parts of the world.

Do You Have the Right Stuff?

Yes, it can seem pretty overwhelming to consider just what it really means to host any exchange student or internship. You must open your home to a “new” person in the house. There is the need to support that person by encouraging their studies and even making sure they are eating properly. However, almost everyone who has hosted a foreign exchange student describes it as enriching and even life changing.

This is particularly true of organizations like USH or Universal Student Housing that has partnerships with hundreds of schools and organizations that offer internships. If you look at the list of options in Arizona, for example, you will see names like Arizona State University, Apollo Group, a language school, and a few community colleges. This means you can host for four weeks or for an entire semester depending upon your location and your preferences.

The Best Benefits

Of course, flexible options are not really a benefit of hosting a foreign exchange student or intern. Instead, you must recognize that your willingness to open your home opens the door to some amazing opportunities for you and your family. You can learn all about your student’s language and culture, you can create a real difference in the world by introducing a foreign student to your culture and hospitality, and you can become far more engaged in your community than you believed possible. Not only would you learn all about a university or business in your city or region, but you could even get involved with it. Colleges and universities all have extracurricular activities, and you could support your student’s participation in everything from sports teams to cultural societies. That adds up to a lot of long-term benefits for the host families. After all, you get to befriend other host families too, and create lifelong friendships at home and abroad.

Empty Nest Benefits

Also, anyone with an empty nest can actually start to earn a reasonable income by opening their home and welcoming in students or interns. This would give you a chance to enjoy caring for someone again and experiencing a sense of family each day.

If you are interested in learning about opening your home to an international intern for a few weeks of very interesting cultural exchange or you can commit to an entire semester or school year of hosting, consider the excellent system designed by Universal Student Housing that has been matching students with hosts for more than 15 years.