Flexibility: High 

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: Would you like to be part of an effort to bring cultures together, open communities to the wider world and create lifelong friendships that span the globe? You can be by becoming a host with Education First (“EF”) High School Exchange Year.

Amava Take: Each year, EF connects thousands of international exchange students with caring host families across the United States. Welcoming a foreign exchange student to your home gives you a chance to share your family’s way of life with a student from another culture, connect to your community in exciting new ways, and bring the world into your home. 

From the Front Lines: 

Tell me more about Education First!

EF Education First is the world’s largest private educational institution. Founded in 1965, EF offers a range of educational programs, from language training and educational travel to academic degrees and cultural exchange. With more than 450 offices in 50 countries, and a mission to break down barriers in language, culture, and geography, EF has helped millions of people of all ages and nationalities become citizens of the world.

Who are EF students?

Our students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 13 different countries. We carefully select each and every one, so you know your student will be motivated, proficient in English, and excited to be part of your family!

What is a typical EF host family like?

There is no ‘typical’ host family! Some families have young or teenage children, while others may be empty-nesters or newlyweds. Single parents, same-sex couples, and grandparents can all be wonderful hosts. People who truly enjoy the experience are caring, open-minded people who want to learn more about other cultures while sharing their life with a student from across the globe.

What are the host family requirements?

Host families provide the student with room and board, and are expected to treat their student as a member of a family, not as a guest. Students cover their own travel costs, health insurance, school expenses, cell phone, and spending money. 

From the Trenches:  

Are host families paid?

Host families are not paid. According the U.S. Department of State, host families cannot receive financial gain from their participation in a student exchange program. However, in recognition of their role as citizen ambassadors, all host families are eligible to receive a charitable tax deduction on their tax return.

Where do EF students come from?

EF exchange students come from countries across Europe and Asia.

Can I participate in choosing my EF student?

Yes, EF coordinators and full-time staff will work with you to find the perfect student match. They have spent more than 30 years matching over 100,000 students to their American host families. If you have an idea of what type of student would fit best in your family, let them know!

Special Requirements: EF and the U.S. Department of State also designate certain requirements of all host families. For example, host parents should be at least 25 years of age or older. 

Setting it Up: If you’re interested in being a host family it’s easy to learn more.