Host Families


Host Family amilies selected to host are interested and responsible families from all American communities, chosen so that each student will have a safe and comfortable living situation when s/he is in the United States. Cultural exchange 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

The following are some of the things that host families are required to provide:

  • A loving and nurturing home environment where the student is treated like a family member.

  • A bed in his/her own or shared bedroom with a family member of the same sex and approximate age.

  • 3 meals a day (including a sack lunch for school unless a free lunch is available in the school cafeteria).

  • An environment where the student is immersed in English.

  • A quiet study area where the student can do his/her homework. Since this is an academic exchange program, it is a host parent's responsibility to contribute to the student's success by providing a quiet study area and perhaps appropriate motivational talks. If the student becomes frustrated with the homework or any other aspect of this "new" life in the U.S., the WES Coordinator is always available to help.

  • Transportation to and from school and church (as provided for one's own children).

  • Adequate after-school supervision.

  • Religion. The student and the host parents may have to deal with the subject of different religious faiths. It is a host parent's responsibility to ensure that the exchange student attends a church of his/her faith if desired. Religious holidays can be presented as a cultural event in either the student's or the host parent's religion. There must be understanding if the student feels uncomfortable and chooses not to participate. Proselytizing is not acceptable. It is important that the host family and the student respect each other's religious beliefs.

Host families are not paid for hosting an exchange student. They participate voluntarily. The WES host family participates for purposes of cultural exchange and not for financial reasons.
By emphasizing the hospitality and graciousness of the host family, students develop personal attachments and an appreciation for their experiences. The genuine care and warmth shown by host families cannot be expressed in financial terms. Students become members of host family households with all the duties and responsibilities of a family member.

Click on Host a WES Student to receive information on hosting a WES Student.