he WES Local Coordinator is the person in the field who recruits, interviews, and selects the host families for WES Academic Exchange Program students, and supervises and assists the student and family throughout the program. The WES Local Coordinator is someone outside the host family environment who is readily available to listen to troubles and give advice to the student or host family when needed. This helps prevent serious problems from developing in the home, school, or community. If emergency situations do arise, the WES Local Coordinator takes responsibility and coordinates their resolution. The WES Local Coordinator is supportive, concerned, and ready to help WES students and host families adjust to their new lives. Most importantly, s/he is someone that the student and family can trust. Host family selection is one of the most important functions of the WES Local Coordinator. If a good match between family and student is made, serious problems are less likely to arise. The WES Local Coordinator finds out why host families want to participate in the program, family hobbies, interests, special family attributes, etc. The WES Local Coordinator interviews the family at home in order to observe the environment in which a student may live. This meeting not only gives the family an opportunity to learn more about the program and the level of responsibilities that they will be accepting, it also enables the WES Local Coordinator to more effectively match students and families. The WES Local Coordinator is the WES representative to the local high school and makes the necessary enrollment arrangements. Also, prior to the student's arrival in the host community, the WES Local Coordinator helps the host family to prepare for the experience.
HOST FAMILY SELECTION
The WES Local Coordinator selects qualified host families from his/her community so that each student will have a safe and comfortable living situation while in the United States. The WES Local Coordinator offers his/her community and host families the opportunity for intercultural exchange which will enrich their lives. Families selected to host are interested and responsible families from all American communities so that each student will have a safe and comfortable living situation when s/he is in the United States. Cultural exchange experience is an invaluable experience for the families and the students. The optimal host family situation is a family with a daughter or son (or both) of high school age, with a guest bedroom or an extra guest bed in a child's bedroom (the child being the same sex as the exchange student), and a responsible person at home in the afternoon after school activities and on weekends.
LOCAL COORDINATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
The following is a summary of the duties and responsibilities the WES Local Coordinator:
- Meet with the local high school administrator to provide information about the WES Academic Exchange Program, arrange for acceptance and registration of the student, and notify the Central Office of the registration.
- Personally interview and select a suitable host family for each student.
Conduct a "Pre-arrival Host Family Orientation", a "Welcome Gathering," after student arrival, and a "Re-Entry Orientation" prior to the student's return home.
Assist the host family with arrival and departure information, tickets, passports, etc.
Meet the WES exchange student upon her/his arrival in the community and escort her/him to the host family or ensure that the host family meets the student.
Establish and maintain a good rapport with the student and become familiar with her/his interests and problems; supervise the student throughout the program and submit quarterly reports to the Central Office. (A personal visit once a month, a phone check-in every two weeks, and a group get-together or activity every other month.)
Maintain close communication with the host family and student and assist both in resolving any problems; inform the Central Office immediately of any emergency.
Assist the host family and student with any school problems.
Maintain a good relationship and promote goodwill between WES, the host family, the student and the high school.
Click on WES Local Coordinator to receive information on how to become a Coordinator.