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 an International Exchange Coordinator (“IEC”) 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. IECs bring the world into their communities, make friends all over the world and positively impact the lives of students and host families. Helping to find local host families and supporting them and their exchange students throughout the year, IECs can earn cash and travel rewards.
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 Education First High School Exchange Year students?
Our students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 13 different countries. We carefully select each and every one, so students will be motivated, proficient in English, and excited to be part of your community!
What’s a typical IEC like?
There is no typical IEC. IECs live all across the country and come from many different backgrounds—stay-at-home parents, business owners, professors, newlyweds, empty-nesters and more! Some have children, others don’t. Some work with their spouses or significant others, others perform the role on their own.
From the Trenches:
How are IECs compensated?
IECs are compensated for each exchange student they match with a family and for supervising all their students during the year. In addition to the financial compensation, IECs earn travel rewards and other perks.
Is there training available for IECs?
EF is proud to offer industry-leading training to all our IECs. New IEC trainings are delivered online and in person, hosted by EF staff in Boston, Regional Coordinators in your area, and the U.S. Department of State. IECs get additional training at regional meetings with other local IECs, at our yearly national meeting for qualified IECs, and through our extensive library of training materials.
Can you be a host and an IEC?
Yes, you can do both! IECs are not required to host a student full-time, though many do and find that it deepens their relationships with their EF exchange students and EF host families, as they are able to live the experience firsthand.
Special Requirements: IECs go through an online application, a background check, a home visit and Department of State certification training.