Expand your ‘world view’ – host an exchange student

Apr 20, 2014

Tim McMahon has hosted five international students through Academic Year in America.

McMahon said he and his family now not only has a “world view” of different cultures and languages – they have made lifelong friends.

“My children have made friends and traveled around the globe,” McMahon said. “My children have visited several of our students on their own and have made extremely close and personal friendships.

“In fact, our entire family has visited the families of two of our exchange students and developed close friendships between the families.”

Academic Year in America (AYA) offers this opportunity to American families.

Each year, AYA brings more than 1,000 students age 15 to 18 to the United States. With AYA’s tailored matching system, families can find a student who will be the perfect fit for their household.

Students come from more than 30 countries, such as Germany, Brazil, France, Italy and South Africa.

For five or 10 months, host families must provide their student with two meals a day and a place to sleep and study. Most importantly, they must welcome their student into their home as if they were a son or daughter.

In addition, $1,000 grants are available to U.S. high schools to promote international understanding.

The Tony Cook Memorial Grant will be awarded to 15 schools that host international students and develop projects, programs and/or events that teach students about global awareness.

The deadline to apply has been extended to May 1. Applications are available at www.academicyear.org. Send applications by email to esesil@aifs.org or by fax at 203-399-5285.

AYA is a not-for-profit organization designated by the U.S. Department of State to offer J-1 visas to international students and is sponsored by the American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation.

For more than 30 years, AYA has offered more than 30,000 students and host families the rewarding experience of learning about another culture and language and making a new lifelong friend.

To learn more about hosting an exchange student with AYA, contact Local Coordinator Arthur Jackson at 425-359-9655 or ajackon@aol.com.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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