Hosting an exchange student is more than just providing room and board; it's a journey of mutual enrichment, understanding, and lifelong connections. From experiencing diverse traditions to fostering genuine friendships across borders, the bond between host families and exchange students is a testament to the power of cross-cultural immersion. It’s fun, rewarding, and life-changing.
But don’t take our word for it—in this post, we’re letting our host families share exactly what they love about hosting.
"We host because our family loves to learn about other cultures. We enjoy having someone come and be a part of our family and traditions for one year. The hope is that they not only learn English better but come to love the US as well!"
The Gadsby Family, Cincinnati, Ohio
Hosting Guillermo from Spain
"We love hosting because it is an exchange of cultures on both sides. Plus, we gain another lifetime family member!"
The Adams family, Amherst, Virginia
Hosting Martina from Spain
"I enjoy hosting especially being blessed with the most beautiful, funny, amazing, respectful, smart, and incredible young lady, Jiyun, who came from South Korea. I don't have any other words than wow. Jiyun has blessed the family with love. Everyone around loves her. She enjoys outdoor and activities. We love her so much."
The St Louis family, Ocoee, Florida
Hosting Jiyun from South Korea
"I love the relationships that form between students and families. I especially love having that relationship for a lifetime!!!"
The Blankenship family, Ville Platte, Louisiana
Hosting Sara from Germany
"We love showing Ramon all around the United States. We've taken him to 9 states so far, met up with his twin sister, and met her and her host family in Indiana. During spring break, we plan to take Ramon to four more states out west. Seeing his joy in anything new to him makes our hearts smile."
The Borkowski Family, Berryville, Arkansas
Hosting Ramon from Spain
"We love being host parents because we get to have a daughter who loves not only us but also our little boy so much!"
The Singleton family, Rock Springs, Wyoming
Hosting Lucia from Spain
"Love getting to know her heritage and how they celebrate the holidays."
The Perkins family, Brandon, Mississippi
Hosting Soyoun from South Korea
"Our family has sincerely enjoyed hosting these two exchange students for the 2023/2024 year. Both students bring a new perspective to our family dynamics. We were able to teach many things, from cooking and organizing to cleaning."
The Lortie family, Magna, Utah
Hosting Andrea from Spain and Jin from Japan
"This was our first year as a host family, and in all honesty, this was a positive experience for us in many ways. Quirin has brought not only us but the community and his school such a positive, interesting culture. He has been a big blessing to our family."
The Smallsreed family, Farmdale, Ohio
Hosting Quirin from Germany
"My family has loved hosting an exchange student! It’s fun to experience life in the USA through her eyes! She has been so easy-going and fits seamlessly into our family!"
The Martinez family, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Hosting Merche from Spain
"Having an Exchange student makes us get out and enjoy all the things we love about Michigan! Adding another person to our family brings so much fun, joy, and laughter."
The Schumacher family, Dorr, Michigan
Hosting Sofia from Brazil
"We love hosting because the students are so active! It keeps us moving and always planning adventures! We love celebrating and cheering their events and activities!"
The Knight family, Casper, Wyoming
Hosting Nele from Germany
"We love hosting because each time is always a unique adventure, and it enhances our knowledge of different lifestyles around the world. It’s been a wonderful way to grow our family."
The Grauch family, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
Hosting Maelys from France and Aino from Finland
"We have a lot in common with our exchange student; she discovered this was her last chance to come to the United States. We made her dream come true!"
The Winchester family, Middleville, Michigan
Hosting Nina from Slovakia
"This is our first year hosting, and we’ve loved learning about our host daughter’s culture and teaching her about ours. We love making new memories with her and having her as a part of our family."
The Steffens family, Casper, Wyoming
Hosting Veronika from the Czech Republic
"Hosting an exchange student brings us immense joy as it has allowed us to embrace cultural diversity, foster meaningful connections, and create lasting memories while providing a home away from home for someone eager to explore a new culture."
The Smodic and Boss families, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Hosting Diego from Spain
"Hosting is a win-win! The love bond we form with each other is equal to adding a new family member. We have been incredibly blessed nine times and have children all over the world."
The Ruiz family, Evanston, Wyoming
Hosting Nicola from Italy
"We are so thankful for the blessings Maya and the program has brought us. Hosting Maya has brought our family closer."
The Ferrer family, Katy, Texas
Hosting Maya from Spain
"Hosting is a great personal adventure! An opportunity to learn more about oneself and another lovely, vibrant soul!"
The Kirk family, Marshall, Michigan
Hosting Irene from Spain
"I love experiencing my city and my state in the eyes of an exchange student. It's like everything we do is a brand-new experience for them, and that's what makes it fascinating."
The Legaspi family, Fresno, California
Hosting Ananya from Thailand and Emma from France
"We love learning about their culture as much as they love learning about ours. Then, the holiday traditions are so much fun to share, too."
The Zimmerman family, Iowa City, Iowa
Hosting Jiwoo from South Korea
"We love having our exchange students here from Tokyo, Japan. We have learned so many things about Japan. Riu is so kind and considerate. We learned a lot about his family. He has really enriched our lives."
The Yonkers family, Kentwood, Michigan
Hosting Riu from Japan
"We love being a host family because it allows us to share our great American culture with some awesome teenagers from other countries."
The Wade family, Conroe, Texas
Hosting Mavie from Germany
Hosting Paula has added an extra layer of joy and excitement to our family that we didn't even know was missing. We have learned so much from her! We are so thankful for the privilege of being able to host such a wonderful young lady.
The O'Boyle family, Indian River, Michigan
Hosting Paula from Spain
Hosting an exchange student isn't just about opening your home; it's about opening your heart to a world of possibilities. Through laughter, learning, and shared experiences, families around the country are discovering the profound joy that comes from embracing cultural diversity and forming lifelong bonds. Hosting benefits your family, community, country, and the world. What could be better than that?
Are You Ready for Some Fun?
These are a handful of more than 1200 families across the nation who have taken the plunge to host an exchange student this school year through ICES.
We are currently accepting applications for host families for the 2024-25 school year, and we likely have a student who would be a great fit for your family!
To learn more about hosting, or to start a Host Family Application, simply click the button below.
We'd love to help you have the adventure of a lifetime!