Flexibility: High 

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: International high school exchange programs play an important role in creating culturally-informed citizens of the world, bringing people from different nations closer together and encouraging peaceful, cooperative international relations. If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, look no further.

Amava Take: International Student Exchange (ISE) brings together exchange students and volunteer host families, with a mission of “Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The ISE exchange program allows international students to become familiar with the American way of life by attending local high schools, experiencing authentic family life, and participating in community service. ISE hires Area Representatives, who work from home to match students with volunteer host families in their community and develop and maintain relationships with local high schools on behalf of ISE’s high school exchange student program. If you’re interested in volunteering, host families learn about foreign cultures and make lasting friendships with the students hosted in their homes and their families. 

From the Front Lines:

 How are Area Representatives paid?

Area Representatives receive payment each time they successfully place a foreign exchange student with a volunteer family. They also receive payment at key supervision checkpoints throughout a program. There are also bonus opportunities such as earning a spot on an incentive trip after recruiting 7 approved volunteer families. Trip locations have included Ireland, Spain, England, Argentina, and other international destinations. 

What kinds of people make good Area Representatives?

Strong Area Representatives tend to be community-focused individuals with strong social ties. 

What are the characteristics of a good host family?

A spare bedroom, welcoming attitude, and desire to make a positive impact in a student’s life are the most important things. Beyond that, families with children, families without children, empty nesters, and single individuals have all had successful hosting experiences, regardless of where they live.

From the Trenches:  

Would you recommend working as an Area Representative for ISE?

Yes! It’s very rewarding to enable people in your community to make friends from all over the world while changing the lives of students who come from abroad. 

What does the work entail?

Contacting schools to secure acceptance for exchange students, recruiting volunteer host families, and providing supervision, guidance, and support (my favorite part).

What’s the best part of being a host family with ISE?

There are so many benefits to hosting an exchange student with ISE. You get to experience a new culture, make lifelong friends (the student and the student’s family) and have a positive impact on your local community. 

Special Requirements: All Area Representatives must must live and be authorized to work in the United States and have a valid US driver’s license, an internet connection and the ability to pass a Criminal Background Check. Area Representatives must also become Department of State Certified and have reliable transportation. All potential host families must pass a background check and home check.

Setting it Up: You can apply to become an Area Representative or to host an exchange student on the ISE site.