Will the students speak English?
All of our students have studied English for a number of years. However, their level of English ability will vary. Some students will speak fluent English and will have little to no accent. Others may have heavy accents and not be as fluent. Schools should expect that students will be able to keep up with most or all work assigned. Some students may be fluent speakers, but have more difficulty with reading and writing. School personnel should inform BFF if at any time a student’s English level is prohibiting them from being successful in the classroom. The student may be required to receive outside tutoring as part of the program.
What are the required courses for students?
The US State Department requires that all students take US or American History and an English course, preferably American Literature. Students may have been given other specific requirements from their school in their home country. Those requirements are typically “you must take a science and a math course”, not “you must take Biology”. Students may be placed in available electives to round out their class schedule.
What kind of support structure is in place?
BFF has a dedicated team of Community Advisors who are trained and available to support the student, host family and school to ensure a successful program. Community Advisors contact our students at least once a month to make sure that all is well and to support students and families through any issues that may arise. Please note, there is no reason to wait for your Community Advisor to contact you. If you have an issue that needs attention, please contact you Community Advisor directly. If you have an emergency and cannot reach your Community Advisor, please contact our main office or emergency hotline.
In which types of activities can the students participate?
At BFF we want our students to be engaged in their schools and communities. We love seeing them become involved in sports, school clubs, youth groups (if they choose) and other community activities. In addition, we ask that each of our students participate in community service at least twice a year and make a presentation about their country at least once while they are here. We feel that community service is an important part of the American culture and that participating in it is a way for the student to give something back to the community that has embraced him / her. As for the presentation, this gives students a great opportunity to share his or her culture with us, thus fulfilling the role of ambassador.
What about medical treatment?
All BFF students are fully covered by health insurance that covers any expenses should they require a visit to the doctor. Students receive a complete physical exam before coming to the US which allows us to know that they are healthy enough for travel and to be on such a program. Students should carry their insurance cards with them at all times. Host parents are strongly encouraged to make a copy of the student’s insurance card and keep it with them at all times as well.
Who do we contact in case of emergency?
The school should contact the host family first if there is an emergency. If the host family is not available, the school should contact the Community Advisor. If there is an emergency and the host family nor the Community Advisor can be reached, please contact our main office or the emergency hotline number. See our Contact Us page for details.
How do we get started?
If you would like more information on how your school can become involved in working with BFF, please contact us immediately for more details. We have both academic programs and short-term cultural programs available to schools.