Below is an article written by a reporter that was posted last year about hosting french students.
Twenty students from France who are dreaming of experiencing life in the United States are expected to arrive for a 20-day stay in the Cleveland area August 1st, but we are still without host families.
Jill Quinn of Avon Lake is the Cleveland area project director for the World Exchange Program, and she is racing the clock to find homes for the students. Quinn has hosted students for 15 years and is looking for more families to do the same. Several Avon Lake families, as well as some in Westlake, Fairview Park, Lakewood and Lorain, have already signed on.
“The community has really embraced this program and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to place the remaining students,” she said.
A host family provides a welcoming place to stay and meals while giving the teens a look at American life. Students speak English, are fully insured and bring their own spending money. Quinn said some families plan additional activities, or even take the student on vacation. Others provide an “everyday living” experience. The students and their chaperones will take two day trips — one to Cedar Point and the other to the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Other than those planned activities, the families are on their own with their student.
“On the global scale, people taking part in an exchange program of this sort often say that they are doing it to create peace one friendship at a time,” Quinn says. “On a personal level, it has more to do with the pleasures of discovery — of seeing the way we live through French eyes. Going to a baseball game and eating hot dogs, for example, goes from being an everyday experience to a way of comparing cultures.”
Quinn said her family has had lasting friendships come out of the exchange program. “My son and daughter have many friends in France that they keep in touch with through Facebook and video chats. We’ve come a long way from sending postcards and packages to being able to keep in touch all the time. It’s a great experience.”