For those who have always wanted to host a foreign exchange student but didn’t want to commit to an entire semester of school, World Exchange could be a perfect fit.
Families with a spare bedroom and curiosity about another culture can host a student for three weeks this summer.
The need is urgent.
Several teenagers from France will arrive in Fresno on July 12 and three are still in need of host families in the Fresno and Clovis area, said World Exchange regional program director LisaMarie Slater.
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“You don’t need to be fluent in French; as a matter of fact, the goal of the program is for students to improve their English, which is good already,” Slater assured. “All you need to do is be willing to provide a safe and caring home for them to stay and include them in your daily family life. It is a cultural exchange, to promote understanding and friendship.”
For more than 30 years, the nonprofit exchange program has helped build relationships between host families in one nation and students of another.
“Six years ago, I answered an email looking for host families for World Exchange,” said Slater, a teacher at Granite Ridge Intermediate School. “We had an amazing time with our student and have a life-long friend. We’ve visited his family in France three times since hosting him. He has also been back to stay with us twice on his own since coming the first time through the program.”
While Slater had to convince her husband to host their first exchange student, they both fell in love with the program and have hosted five additional students over the years. When the opportunity to become regional director came up, Slater said she was eager to become more involved.
She is eager to match families with a French student this summer for their three-week stay.
World Exchange will take all of the students on an overnight excursion one weekend, and provide additional opportunities for group activities like attending a Fresno Grizzlies game, Slater said.
Local merchants have donated discount coupons for host families to help defray the cost of having an extra person.
“The kids also come with a little bit of spending money,” Slater said.
The three remaining exchange students who need host families for July 12 to 31 are:
Alexandre, 16. He loves to play tennis and go surfing. He has pets and likes animals. His English is very good.
Nicholas, 17. He likes to play tennis and American football. He enjoys going to the movies and has traveled to the U.S. before.
Laura-Lys, 17. She is interested in politics and enjoys playing golf and basketball. She thinks she might be a judge or a lawyer like her parents. She also enjoys acting and drama.
To host a student, contact LisaMarie Slater directly at (559) 515-0373 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Details: www.worldexchange.org