Hosting an international exchange student with Academic Year in America (AYA) is a rewarding experience that promotes cultural exchange and lifelong friendships. When you host an international high school student with AYA, you can select a student that you feel will best match your family’s lifestyle and interests.
With AYA, host families also have the opportunity to host two international students! When families “double-host,” they receive twice the benefits and enjoy the exchange of three cultures in their home.
AYA also makes it easy for families to host exchange students over multiple years. Repeat hosting helps families create bonds all over the world and experience multiple culture exchanges.
We asked several families who chose to double-host exchange students or have repeat hosted to share their experiences. Here is what they told us:
The Weber Family, AYA host family from North Carolina
“What makes us want to host each year is the experience of learning about different cultures. We don’t plan on traveling out of country with 5 kids, so we bring the Country to us through a student!
We think there are benefits to hosting — not all students are the same, so you will get a different experience each time. The most enjoyable thing about it is that we treat each kid as our own. We love sharing about our different cultures and sharing our American culture. They become our kids.
What makes us want to take two students is that we have a big enough house to share our rooms and felt at the time it would benefit both students. Now they are like sisters! The benefits to hosting two students are that when you do not have as many kids as us, it would be even more beneficial. Then they would have someone to lean on at school. Also having two different students from different cultures is having 3 different cultures in your home!
What we enjoyed most was that all 3 kids we have had are part of our family and we stay in contact with them. One student we hosted was a Muslim student and it deepened our appreciation of their culture…. Next year we are hosting another Muslim student!”
Sara, AYA host mother from Nebraska
“We weren’t blessed with children therefore after hosting for many years we created an international family of our own! Once one of these students have touched your heart and become part of your family, it’s so natural to want to host again!
We hosted two wonderful young men due to AYA asking if we would host a second student. It was wonderful to see them bond and form a lifelong connection. Plus, it gave us double the fun and innumerable lasting memories! It was such a fun filled experience that we’re doing it again with a set of young ladies.”
Maggie, AYA host mother from North Carolina
“There are several benefits for the students and host families to hosting two students. The students get to experience an additional culture that they may never have been exposed to before. They have each other to lean on when facing anxieties and conflicts that maybe the host family would not understand.
By hosting two students, some of the burden of entertaining and explaining situations to a student are lightened by having a peer in the same situation. Our German student helped our Brazilian student with his English and navigating through classes. Our Brazilian student helped our German student adapt to large and chaotic family life! I am confident that our two students will be ‘brothers’ for life. It was truly an amazing experience for everyone.”
Amy, AYA host mother from Pennsylvania
“Some benefits of hosting multiple years:
- Your family grows and creates new bonds
- You get better at it each year
- If you have younger kids, it helps you understands your own teenagers a little better when the time comes
- You don’t have just one person in one part of the world but bonds all over the world are created
- You can have a bigger family without childbirth
- Your family can compare multiple cultures to one another.”
Increase the benefits of hosting an international student by choosing to double-host exchange students, or try repeat hosting. You will have the opportunity to experience multiple cultures and develop meaningful, lifelong connections all over the world.