Who is the “perfect” host family?
There isn’t one! Gone are the days when there was a nuclear American family with a mom and a dad and 2.5 kids with a dog! There’s no typical family for an exchange student. We do our best to make great matches between host family and the student. The students and host families indicate on their applications many details which help us create the best possible matches. We are looking for all types of families. Single parents, empty nesters, retired parents, working parents, parents with young children, teenage children, or no children all make great host families. Families are not a one size fits all for our organization. The most important qualities that we look for are: big hearts, open arms, a loving home, host parents who treat the students like their own child. We are also looking for people who are willing and able to work through any bumps that come up along the journey of hosting. Of course, we also hope that you will ask for our support in handling those bumps.
How does BFF choose the students they place?
BFF has carefully chosen several international partners from various countries with whom we collaborate. BFF has established a rapport with these organizations and set expectations regarding student application expectations. Once a student application has been received, BFF reads over the application and decides if the student will be a good fit for BFF and our families. Once we have student applications, we look for families that will be a great match for that student. Host families have an opportunity to review student profiles and choose a student they feel will be the best fit for their family. We do our best to match the student and host family as much as possible. Although we cannot guarantee a perfect match, we can help you to have a very culturally rich experience in which you learn things you didn’t know and you teach the student things about American culture they never knew either.
What are the benefits of hosting an exchange student?
There are hundreds of benefits and many you won’t realize until the student is close to the end of their program or maybe even after they have returned home. However, one of the biggest benefits is the additional son or daughter (brother/sister) you will have in your family to continue to communicate with for years to come. You will learn things about their country that you probably wouldn’t have learned without having a student in your home. You will teach your student about American culture and your family traditions. It is our hope that the students will in turn teach their family and friends what they have learned once they return to their country. These students also often teach American children about their culture, which opens the doors to improving international relationships, as well as create a desire and curiosity in world and international affairs. Often times, your student will even bring your family closer as you improve on your own traditions and culture such as doing sightseeing around the area, eating more family dinners together, communicating openly, and learning about their country and family. You may even be lucky enough to have a visit from their natural family before your student returns home!
BFF Host Families
– Are open-minded and welcoming
– Possess an interest in learning about other cultures
– Include the student in family life and daily routines
– Have a spare bed
– Are of many ages and backgrounds, with or without children
– Have studied English for a number of years
– Are expected to pay their way for outings
– Are prepared to help with some household tasks
– Are provided with an orientation and handbook
– Are medically insured for illness and injury