Host with BFF

Host with BFF

Experience international culture without leaving home by hosting a BFF international exchange student! Host an exchange student for rewarding opportunities to share your culture and get to know a student from another country.

What Does Hosting Mean to Us?

Hosting is your chance to change the world for the better! Our purpose at BFF is to promote world peace through cultivating opportunities for cultural and educational exchanges. These exchanges allow people to learn more about each other’s core values. We bring the international traveler and the host family together to create meaningful relationships through which we celebrate our differences and similarities.

 

The Programs

Academic Year Programs

This program extends from August to the following June, and the   student attends a public school within your community.

Academic Semester Programs

Are you ready to host for an entire year? If not, no problem!

Like the academic year program, we also support semester students from August to January.

Summer Hosting

Available only in North Carolina, this program spans approximately two months, with no school attendance required. Participants can enjoy summer activities with an exchange student.

Welcome Family Hosting

Welcome families play a necessary role in introducing exchange students to their host community, providing them a warm welcome for 6-8 weeks while BFF works to identify a permanent placement.

Common Hosting Questions: 

Who can host? Host families come in all shapes and sizes – no “typical” family exists. Families with children or without, single parents, LGBTQ families, grandparents, and empty nesters can all be excellent hosts.

What are the responsibilities?Host families provide a bed, a place to study, three meals a day, and some transportation. Students have their own spending money and insurance.

How long do we host? BFF offers a variety of program lengths so that there are options to suit every family.

Why should I host? Hosting a foreign exchange student enables you to explore a new culture and language without leaving the comfort of your home. You’ll also develop a lasting relationship with your new “son” or “daughter”; once your student has returned home, you’ll have a friend from another part of the world.

Common Hosting Questions: 

Who can host? Host families come in all shapes and sizes – no “typical” family exists. Families with children or without, single parents, LGBTQ families, grandparents, and empty nesters can all be excellent hosts.

What are the responsibilities?Host families provide a bed, a place to study, three meals a day, and some transportation. Students have their own spending money and insurance.

How long do we host? BFF offers a variety of program lengths so that there are options to suit every family.

Why should I host? Hosting a foreign exchange student enables you to explore a new culture and language without leaving the comfort of your home. You’ll also develop a lasting relationship with your new “son” or “daughter”; once your student has returned home, you’ll have a friend from another part of the world.

 

 

 

Expand Your Worldview

Hosting an exchange student is a chance to broaden your horizons and gain insight into a new culture. Our differences make us unique, and learning about them can be fascinating. Hosting an exchange student allows you to expand your global perspective, develop language skills, and immerse yourself in a new and exciting cultural experience.

 

Change Your Perspectives

 

Hosting a student is a chance to change things up and view life from a fresh perspective. We often take our daily routines for granted, but having a student stay with you can help you see life in a new light and appreciate it more fully. Even a simple trip to Walmart can become an exciting experience.

When you teach a child, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Not only do you help the child develop and enhance their life skills, but you also gain some valuable traits along the way.

 

Grow Your Family

When inviting a new member into your home, they become a part of your family, and it’s genuinely a fantastic experience to develop a close relationship with someone from a different part of the world.

By hosting, you can help bridge cultural divides by promoting peace and understanding within your communities.

 

Grow Your Family

When inviting a new member into your home, they become a part of your family, and it’s truly an amazing experience to develop a close relationship with someone from a different part of the world.

By hosting, you can help bridge cultural divides by promoting peace and understanding within your communities. 

Change Your Perspectives

Hosting a student is a chance to change things up and view life from a fresh perspective. We often take our daily routines for granted, but having a student stay with you can help you to see life in a new light and appreciate it more fully. Even a simple trip to Walmart can become an exciting experience.

When you teach a child, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Not only do you help the child develop and enhance their life skills, but you also gain some valuable traits along the way.

Change Your Perspectives

Hosting a student is a chance to change things up and view life from a fresh perspective. We often take our daily routines for granted, but having a student stay with you can help you to see life in a new light and appreciate it more fully. Even a simple trip to Walmart can become an exciting experience.

When you teach a child, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Not only do you help the child develop and enhance their life skills, but you also gain some valuable traits along the way.

What are the hosting requirements?

Why Choose BFF?

Why Choose BFF?

Each host family has a community advisor who lives within their community and supports them one-on-one throughout their hosting experience.

 

Community advisors check in with students in person and host families monthly via phone or in person to ensure success.

 

Community Advisors, at minimum, plan fun student events bi-monthly for students.

Advisors act as a support system for both host families and students as they navigate the exchange year.

In addition to local Community Advisor support, a Student Support Team and a 24/7 BFF Emergency Hotline are available to families if needed.

 

Hear From Our Families

Hear From Our Families

"We got the son we never knew we wanted. Our family was not looking to host a student, but BFF reached out to our daughter’s rowing club and changed our lives forever. We were nervous to have someone else in our little family, but it has been an amazing experience on various levels. Our only child (16-year-old daughter) got a brother, and we got a son. It has truly warmed my heart to watch their relationship develop."

Luc’s Family

"We had the privilege of hosting Pascal for one semester and we can assure you, we loved having him live with us! Even though it was only one semester, he will always be a part of our family now. We had hoped Pascal would feel welcomed and have a great experience with us in Holly Springs and from his reactions, he sure loved us, the school and our small town. Pascal brought so much joy and excitement to our home and we miss him terribly."

Pascal’s Family

"Back in August, we grew our family by one. A beautiful young woman from Italy, named Anna joined our family. She has blessed us with many smiles, memories, and delicious food! I don’t think we could have picked a perfect fit for our family. We have shared some of our favorite destinations with her and she has been open to all. Little things like checking the mail and washing the car windows at a gas station have brought so much joy and excitement to her. It is funny to see the little things that are so different in other countries."

Anna’s Family

Where do our students come from?

 

BFF works with various international organizations to carefully select and admit students dedicated to acting as cultural ambassadors during their year in the United States. Learn more about the different programs and countries BFF partners with.

Where do our students come from?

 

BFF works with various international organizations to carefully select and admit students dedicated to acting as cultural ambassadors during their year in the United States. Learn more about the different programs and countries BFF partners with.

YES Programs

Congress established the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program in October 2002 in response to September 11, 2001. The program is funded through the US Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States.

Students live with host families, attend high schools, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. There are currently 35 countries that participate in the YES program.

Click here to learn more: https://www.yesprograms.org/

FLEX Program

The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program, created in 1993, is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the US Department of State. FLEX students who pass multiple rounds of testing earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States, living with a volunteer host family, and attending a US high school. FLEX students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about FLEX countries and cultures. FLEX is a highly competitive program with over 26,300 alums who have contributed over one million hours of community service in cities and towns across America. The students return home to active alumni networks that carry out inspiring activities.

There are currently 21 countries that participate in the FLEX program.

Click here to learn more: http://discoverflex.org/

Brazil

Brazilians tend to be warm, fun loving, and free spirited. They also have a reputation for being outgoing and enjoying the company of others. At the same time, Brazilians are known to be hard working. One’s ability to acquire possessions is an important marker of social status, as is going to college.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Full-Report-Brazil.pdf

Cambodia

Although Pol Pot destroyed the outer vestiges of Buddhism in Cambodia, the religion continued to shape people’s perspectives. Many believe that Buddhist teachings helped people survive the years of war and poverty. Cambodians are traditionally known as optimists. Optimism was hard to find between 1975 and 1990, but the return of King Sihanouk and the chance for peace encouraged people’s hopes for a better life. Citizens worked to clear land mines, build schools, reform social institutions, and revive traditions.
Even with peace restored, Cambodian society still suffers from the effects of years without education and social order. Corruption and banditry make people fearful, and many individuals display a survival mentality that prevents them from worrying about ethics, future consequences of current actions, and the needs of others. As the political situation remains stable, traditional community and cooperative values are returning as pillars of
society.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Cambodia.pdf

 

Czech Republic

Czechs value education, cleverness, modesty, and humor. Czech humor can be difficult for foreigners to understand at first. Joking about politics or government leaders was an important defense for the people under communist rule to relieve the tension in their lives. Moravians and Slovaks tend to be friendlier and
more lighthearted than the Bohemian Czechs, who are more reserved. Czechs see themselves as realists; they also have a strong sense of irony, which can sometimes come across as pessimism.

 

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Full-Report-Czechia.pdf

Ecuador

A common trait of most Ecuadorians is the value they place on familial relationships and responsibilities. People tend to be warm and hospitable. Relationships generally take precedence over schedules. A certain sentimentality is evident in popular songs and in the practice of exchanging or giving recuerdos (tokens of affection or remembrance). Oratory and leadership skills are generally admired, as are loyalty and honesty. Occupation, wealth,
and family name indicate social status.
In Ecuador, regional differences tend to influence politics and internal relations. In general, Serranos (people from highland areas, including Quito) are considered more formal, conservative, and reserved than Costeños (coastal inhabitants). Costeños are considered cosmopolitan, open, and liberal; they generally are the businesspeople of Ecuador. Serranos are associated with government and banks. The two groups, political rivals, distrust each other in many respects but are united in others.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Ecuador.pdf

France

The French measure success by educational level, family reputation, and financial status, as demonstrated through their housing, cars, and other material possessions. Among the most patriotic people in the world, the French are extremely proud of their culture, heritage, and way of life. This patriotism fosters a general expectation that visitors have some knowledge of French and show appreciation for French culture. The
French are often reserved and private but tend to be more hospitable outside Paris. Politeness is valued, and S’il vous plaît (Please) is a common phrase.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Full-Report-France.pdf

Germany

Germans tend to be industrious, honest, thrifty, and orderly. They appreciate traits such as punctuality, privacy, intelligence, and skill. They often have a strong sense of regional pride, a fact the federal system of
government recognizes and accommodates. World War II broke down class distinctions because most people lost their possessions and had to start over again. Germany emerged as a land of freedom and opportunity after the war.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Full-Report-Germany.pdf

Hungary

Hungarians tend to be proud that their country experienced a form of democracy before most other nations. Even during the communist regime, Hungary was considered one of the most open and prosperous countries in Eastern Europe. It was one of the first to announce sweeping reforms and was able to accomplish them without violence or serious upheaval. 

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Hungary.pdf

Italy

Because of improved economic and social conditions in southern regions and the influence of the media, differences between northern and southern Italians are diminishing. However, some regional attitudes remain, and Italians still refer to one another by their city of origin (Milanese, Roman, Florentine, etc.). Adopting practices of their German and Austrian neighbors, people in the industrialized north traditionally value
punctuality, reliability, organization, and economic success. They often are less relaxed and view time as a resource not to be wasted. They take pride in having a low tolerance for criminality and public corruption. Southerners are appreciated for their warm character and friendliness. They enjoy a leisurely life and tend to take their time doing business. Family values prevail in the south and are often more appreciated than economic success.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Full-Report-Italy.pdf

Japan

Japanese society is group oriented. Loyalty to the group (business, club, etc.) and to one’s superiors is essential and takes precedence over personal feelings. In business, loyalty, devotion, and cooperation are valued over aggressiveness. Companies traditionally provide lifetime employment to the “salary-man” (full-time male professional) who devotes long hours of work to the company. Devotion to the group is central to the Japanese lifestyle. For example, someone with a cold usually wears a face mask to help ensure nobody else catches their cold. Japanese tend to avoid conversation topics that can be divisive, especially topics such as politics and religion. It is uncommon for people to discuss their personal lives with coworkers, except among those they consider to be close friends. 

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Japan.pdf

Poland

Polish people value individualism, practicality, and self-reliance (exercised on an extended-family level). They place great emphasis on the family, tradition, and education. Poles are generally outspoken, especially in private circles. They are straightforward and realistic, sometimes cynical. People value generosity and do not
highly regard those who are not willing to share their time, resources, or power.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Poland.pdf

Spain

Spaniards, particularly those in urban areas, tend to place a high value on what others think of them. Peer and family pressure often strongly influence behavior. Personal pride and appearance—making a good impression and meeting social conventions and expectations—are considered extremely important. People commonly seek to project an impression of affluence and social position. Regional identities and devotions are strong.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Spain.pdf

Thailand

Thailand means “Land of the Free,” and many Thai are proud of the fact that their country has largely avoided foreign rule throughout its long history. The king and queen are the most respected and honored people in Thailand. Many Thai hang photos of the king in their homes, offices, and businesses. It is illegal to say or write anything offensive about royalty, and offenders are often given lengthy prison sentences. Most Thai are proud of their cultural heritage and often are offended by those who see “development” as a need to
Westernize and change people’s religious and cultural habits. People living in urban areas such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai have more easily adopted Western customs, but life in rural regions remains largely unchanged.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Full-Report-Thailand.pdf

Turkey

Turkey is often described as a bridge between East and West. Because Turks have interacted with Europe and Asia for centuries, they have incorporated features from both areas into their culture. Most Turks are proud of the achievements of their modern state as well as the accomplishments of their ancestors, who ruled great empires. Turks are generally patriotic, and most consider their society to be progressive, Europe-leaning, and strongly influential in the region. They often feel misunderstood by European
and other Western nations; many wish their country to be seen as modern, ethnically diverse, tolerant, and democratic.

Click here to learn more: https://borderlessfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Full-Report-Turkey.pdf

Interested In Hosting With BFF?

Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information. Please provide us with your name, current residence area, and other relevant details. One of our BFF Support Team members will contact you soon.