OPEN YOUR HOME TO THE WORLD
The Host Family Experience
Families come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re ready to open your heart and share your home, chances are you’ve got what it takes to host an international student. Connect your family with the world! We’ll support you every step of the way.
Is Hosting An Exchange Student Right For Me?
Being a CIEE High School USA host family is about creating a home away from home. You’re part parent, part cultural ambassador, part mentor. Hosting is a chance to learn from one another. Our host families tell us over and over that their lives are just as touched and changed as those of their exchange student.
You’ll join 16,000 CIEE host families that welcome students from 55 countries while they attend high school with the United States’ oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. Each year, we bring students who are eager to learn to more than 1,000 schools from our network.
CIEE host parents are volunteers who must be at least 25 years old, and able to provide the following:
- A welcoming home for one or two high school semesters
- Family support
- A bedroom and a bed (students can share rooms with children of the same gender within four years of his/her age)
- An appropriate place to study
- Meals at home and school
- Assistance coordinating appropriate transportation
How long will I be hosting an exchange student?
That is up to you! At CIEE, we offer a wide variety of short-term, cultural, and academic programs that last two weeks, one semester, or one academic year. Many host families who chose to host short-term exchange students love the experience so much they chose to host again – this time, welcoming longer-term exchange students into their home.
Learn more about our programs.
What can you do with your host student?
- Go to a football game
- Have an all-American evening: burgers, apple pie, and a movie
- Share a meal and stories from your student's host country
- Invite neighbors over for dinner and games
- Enjoy a night out at the mall or the movies
- Work on school projects and club activities
- Catch up at a coffee shop
- Help with community-service projects
- Explore nature
- Have fun at a county fair
What if I need help?
Constant Support for Peace of Mind
CIEE is known for the support and high level of quality in everything we do. Our Local Coordinators, also known as LCs, are your go-to resource, members of your community who are ready to ensure a positive experience. Your LC will:
- Outline the program and get to know you, so we can match you with the right student.
- Be your principal CIEE contact while you’re hosting, and your first resource for advice, guidance, and assistance.
In case of emergency, just call our expert staff members at CIEE headquarters. They’re on call 24/7.
We’ll Help You Connect
CIEE helps you keep students engaged with activities designed to bring participants, host families, and communities closer together:
- Each CIEE student completes a community-service project
- CIEE students and host families can participate in fun events, like photo and recipe contests
What People are Saying
We wouldn’t host if it wasn’t fun and meaningful. It’s kind of cool to be 53 and find a new family member from a country you haven’t been to!David L., Archer City, Texas
Our lives were changed in such an unexpected and delightful way by opening our home and hearts to Sofia. She taught us to laugh louder, treasure each other, and enjoy the moment.Cindy J., Louisville, Kentucky
What was most unexpected was how much Martin became a family member. By the end of those 10 months, we really felt like we had a son.S.F., Wichita Falls, Texas