There are many different companies and non-profit organizations that provide exchange programs
to students and just as many that offer families the opportunity to host an exchange student.
Exchange students are usually between 15-18 years old and attend high school during
their exchange. However, some exchange students are between 18 and 21 years old an attend
college, vocational education or participate in a volunteer program while abroad. Some exchange
students don’t attend school at all during their exchange, because these short term (a couple of weeks)
programs don’t aim for an academic focus, but aim for exchange students to explore and
get an insight into the culture of their host country.
Long-term host family for an exchange student
Long term hosting generally means that you host an exchange student for one school year, which is
approximately 10 months. The beauty of long term hosting is to see your exchange son or daughter truly develop and becoming part of your family, community, school class and sports club. While the first months are focused around adjusting and settling in for the exchange student, the second semester focuses on enjoying the progress of learning the language, building a social
network, and feeling truly at home with the host family.
Short-term host family for an exchange student
Short term hosting can have a duration of a
couple of days to a semester. The opportunities for short term hosting vary. Some exchange programs have a duration of just a couple of weeks. However, during a long term exchange a situation may occur in which short term or temporary hosting is required. Sometimes an arrival family welcomes the student at the airport and hosts an exchange student until the final administrative processes with the permanent family is finalized. Sometimes a host family and their exchange son or daughter benefit from a few days apart and a sleepover is suggested.