Exchange Student

Foreign exchange student program seeks host families

More than 20 countries, including Denmark, participate in CETUSA. (Courtesy CETUSA)

The Council for Educational Travel USA is looking to place 10th- and 11th-grade students with families in the Cypress, Pearland, Sugar Land or Katy area by August. CETUSA is a nonprofit international student exchange organization that coordinates with students in 20 other countries including South Korea, Brazil, France, Germany and Argentina.

“We’re looking for diversification in high schools, but we’re also looking for cultural exchange between the students that come into the U.S. and the host families,” CETUSA Local Coordinator Nicola Edmunds said.

Families in the U.S. typically host students for an academic year, Edmunds said. She said CETUSA sees about 500-600 students nationwide enroll in the program, and about 200 students need placements in the Houston area.

Eligibility requirements for host families include passing a health check, meeting the needs of the students and being able to provide three meals a day. Edmunds said one of her responsibilities is making sure the home meets all the criteria.

“Once they’ve been background checked and I make sure their home is adequate, then we’ll pick the student,” she said.

Students who wish to be enrolled in the program must pass a background check, receive required vaccinations and must be fluent enough in English to pass an oral and written examination. Additionally, the students receive $250 in spending money each month from their home families.

Families in the Houston area interested in hosting a student can find more information online or via phone at 719-271-7601.