It’s that time of year again… Academic Year in America (AYA) students are starting to arrive in the USA for their exchange year!
With host family applications still rolling in, we know that our potential applicants probably have a lot of questions in mind.
We’ve put together a top 5 list of questions that host families frequently ask (and answers!) to get you “in the know” about all things AYA.
1. “What are my primary responsibilities as a host family?”
This is one of the most common questions that host families ask us.
As a host family, you will be responsible for providing your student with a safe, supportive, and loving home. You’ll also provide them with their own bed and a place to study, 3 meals a day, and transportation to school.
In short, the most important role you’ll play is providing your student with the love you’d give to another family member.
2. “What ages are the students, and from what countries do the students come?”
Our exchange students are mature high schoolers ranging from age 15 – 18 years old.
Our students come from over 50 countries including: Albania, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and many others.
3. “When can I expect my student to arrive?”
For fall placements, our students start arriving at their American homes in August. However, students that choose to start in the spring (for half a school year) arrive in January.
When the students do arrive, they typically attend an AYA-sponsored orientation and then fly from the orientation location to their host communities.
4. “When does my student have to leave?”
Once your student completes their last day of school, their exchange program officially ends and you’ll have to say goodbye as they return home.
In certain cases, your student may stay a few days longer with explicit approval from you. However, they’re required to leave the week after school ends.
5. “How do I get accepted as a host family?”
Hooray! You’ve completed the most important step by deciding to welcome an international exchange student into your family.
From here, complete a Host Family Application. This includes a high school profile, a community profile, and a criminal background check release form. Then, we’ll ask you to provide two references. Finally, you’ll have an in-home interview — and could be on your way to gaining a new family member.