School Visitor Program
Invite an international teen to join you at school for a few weeks this winter or spring.
Welcome an international teen into your family, and your high school this spring! School visitors bring a fun, new perspective to your daily routine at home and at school.
October 5 to October 13, 2019: Middle School Marimba group from Asunción Mita, Guatemala to Sellwood Middle School
4 weeks in February: Teens from Madrid, Spain (ages 13-17)
February 1 to February 20: Teens from Paris, France (ages 14-17)
April 8 to April 20: Middle school students from Mexico (ages 12-15)
April 8 to April 27: Teens from Annecy, France (ages 14-17)
If these dates don't work, check out our summer immersion hosting program.
This is a great program for families throughout Oregon and Washington who have teens at home. The international teens are looking forward to speaking English, experiencing everyday life as part of your family, and shadowing their host sibling at middle or high school.
We work with your family, the schools' administration, and language teachers to coordinate these visits.
It's great for everyone
True to the nature of exchange, both students and host families reap the benefits that come with cultural exchanges. It's fun, it's rewarding, and you learn as much about yourself as you do about the world.
Bring the classroom to life
Hosting an international student can (re)ignite a curiosity for other languages, cultures, customs, cuisine, and so much more. You may have learned about French or Spanish culture in your high school language class, but those lessons come alive when you are living with a French or Spanish teen who shares stories, recipes, and traditions from home.
Create a global family
Although students come for just a few weeks at a time, many stay in touch with their host families for years after their trip. Sometimes students may return to visit, or host families go to their student's home to experience the other side of the exchange. Whether you see each other again in person or just stay in touch through social media, hosting can be the beginning of a life-long relationship that spans countries and continents.
Gain, and share, new perspectives
Welcoming an international visitor is a great opportunity to learn about another perspective, but it also gives you the chance to reflect on your own. Sharing traditions, explaining habits and customs to your student, and discussing opinions on a variety of subjects can allow you to step back and see your own culture from the perspective of your student.
Host families share a few more benefits to hosting:
"We've hosted several exchange students in the past. My kids enjoy 'expanding' our family and having interaction with a variety of cultures without having to leave their own home. I think the experience gives them broader perspective of other cultures, the similarities of all people and piques their interest even more about the possibilities in the world that they live in."
"We have only one son at home, hosting gives him the opportunity to have a companion around all the time. Empathy, sharing, friendship, tolerance, respect—all those! Also, not only did our exchange student learn about our culture, but our son improved his French and learned about that culture."
"[My kids] learned about other cultures and foods and family customs. They enjoyed having a guest. We all enjoyed having a reason to be a tourist in our own town and seeing our city through the eyes of a visitor."