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CIEE - Bring The World To Your Home

Updated on February 3, 2009

In Your Spare Time, You Can Make A Teen's Dreams Come True

I remember fondly making great friendships with several students who attended my high school in Greenfield, Massachusetts. They had names like Elina, Mauricio, and Stefan. They came to Greenfield from places like Finland, Spain and Germany. I suspect if I could track these folks down, they would say that the year they spent in the United States was probably one of the most memorable years in their lives.

Today, there are hundreds of other students from far away lands who would like to experience the American way of life, expanding their horizons, and changing their lives forever. There are two ways you can help these students' dreams come true.

The first is to serve as a local coordinator for the Council on International Educational Exchange. If this is the path that you choose, your job will be to search out host families for students who want to come to different parts of America.

The other option is to be a host yourself. Some Local Coordinators agree to serve as temporary hosts for these kids, helping to get them to America, and then search for a more permanent home away from home.

CIEE is a leader in this field. These teenagers are thoroughly screened before being allowed to participate in the program. As a host family, you are expected to:

• Accept a student into their home as a “host son or daughter” for one or two semesters

• Provide a bed and room

• Share meals (can claim $50 per mo. tax deduction)

• Provide an opportunity of a lifetime for a young person

• Learn about another culture and enjoy a lifelong relationship

If you are more interested in being a local coordinator, your job will not end when you place a student. Nor is this a full-time position, by design. You can spend as much or as little time as you have to this position. Here are some examples of responsibilities of a local coordinator:

• Help get the word out about CIEE and our high school foreign exchange student program

• Recruit host families in their spare time

• Place students with families

• Check on the students throughout their stay

• Receive extra money for placing and checking on student (approx. $550 - $750 per student per year)

• Earn national and international travel. (This depends upon the number of students you can place each school year).

If anyone reading this would like more information about the students, about being a host, or about being a local coordinator, send me an email, and I will do my best to answer any questions. If I am unable to find an answer, I have other members of the CIEE team who can educate us both.

So what are you waiting for? You have a unique opportunity to enrich your own life and the life of a deserving foreign student.

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