Local Host Homes Needed For Foreign Exchange Students This Summer

Education First is looking for host homes for Chinese students, ages nine-14, to stay for three weeks in July.

Are you interested in the opportunity to both learn about a new culture and share yours? If so, then you might consider hosting a foreign exchange student for a few weeks this summer.

Thirty-two junior Chinese students, between the ages nine-14, are coming to Brandon from July 10-July 30 for the opportunity to study English and experience the American way of life. Education First’s (EF) Educational Homestay Program (EHP) is searching for homes for the students.  

During their stay the students will be under the supervision of EF program staff from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. During these times they will be attending English language classes and participating in a variety of different educational activities and field trips.

Each host family is asked to provide room, board and transportation to and from the course center. Host families are also eligible to earn up to 15 hours of community service each week. Many families carpool so that families with working parents are able to have help with drop off and pick up.

Devon Woodward, a course leader with program, and her family have been a host family in the past and encourage anyone interested to get involved. “It was an amazing experience to watch our student get excited about so many little things while he was here. For example, his favorite snack was fruit roll ups and he loved to play Monopoly every night with my song and husband,” she said. “We learned a lot from him and him from us.”

As a course leader, Woodward was also able to spend time with all of the kids over the three week period that they were in Florida.

“The kids were all extremely bright, focused, funny and very sweet. While they learned about us and our culture, I was also able to learn so much about their culture that I didn’t know,” she said. “Another thing I learned was that kids, no matter where they come from, are inherently the same. They want to laugh, hang out with friends, discover new things, go to the movies and, yes, they love to shop!”

Anyone interested in becoming a host family can contact Woodward at 833-9923 or e-mail dev@woodwardsearchinggroup.com.