Host Families Needed for 2017-2018 School Year

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Submitted by Sonya Aydell
    This past year has been a hard one for Central and the surrounding communities. In the midst of the August 2016 flooding, exchange students at Central High and other schools not only experienced the devastation firsthand but also helped in the clean up afterwards.  Their lives have been greatly impacted by this past year. The Central area stepped up in a number of ways for each other in the aftermath of that event. Many residents are just returning to their homes or close to returning to their homes after the flood.  Those who work in student exchange understand that times are different for many in our area this year.  Our work to seek out loving host families goes on even in the midst of the struggles our area continues to see.
    Each year, international high school students representing more than 60 nationalities come to the U.S. to experience American culture as part of CIEE’s USA High School program. Students live as typical American teenagers—attending a U.S. high school, living with an American host family, and participating in extracurricular activities and sports. During their stay, students also give back to their host communities through many volunteering and community service opportunities. Through its USA High School program, CIEE provides life-changing cultural exchanges that help students, families, and schools gain new perspectives and develop lifelong relationships that cross borders and cultures. 
    We have a variety of students so we need a variety of host families.  Single parents, parents with no children, parents with young children or parents who have current high school students – we can find the right student for your home.  Host families provide room and board (normal food for the day and a bed to sleep in) for a student for the 10 months of a school year. The students come with their own health insurance and spending money for extras.  This is a way to learn about another culture without ever leaving your home AND a chance to show a little southern hospitality to a student who wants to study for a year in the United States. 
    Interested in hosting an international exchange student? Contact your CIEE local coordinator, Sonya Aydell at [email protected] or visit to learn more. 
    CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange:  Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving 300 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and more than 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE operates 60 study centers in 40 countries, sponsors international faculty training programs, teach abroad programs, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit