Make Dreams Come True: Host an Exchange Student

Start this school year off with a bang by opening your heart and your home to an international ex-change student participating in Education First, Atlanta’s language program located at Oglethorpe University.


EF is an international language program designed to help people of all ages learn different languages, giv-ing them the opportunity to travel abroad and experience meaningful cultural changes. Since 1965, EF has been helping students learn a second language and experience new cultures. In July 2012, EF Atlanta opened up on the beautiful campus of Oglethorpe University.Justin Sabree, an administrative coordinator for EF Atlanta, said students not only need to learn the language, but the culture as well.


“Oglethorpe University and EF Atlanta give these students the opportunity to explore Atlanta and some of the wonderful activities and sites it has to offer so they can truly immerse themselves in the cul-ture,” Sabree said.


Each year between 150 and 250 students come to EF Atlanta to learn and study English as well as American culture and customs. These students represent over 25 countries, some of which include South Korea, Kazakhstan, France, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The students can study here for as little as two weeks or for as long as a year. During their time in the states, they are given the option to live on campus at Oglethorpe or stay with a host family who lives in the surrounding community.
“Hosting an exchange student can be a wonderful experience for your family,” Sabree said. “It al-lows the family the opportunity to learn a new language and culture, and make awesome connections and long-lasting friendships. It is an amazing way to see the world without leaving your own living room.”


EF Atlanta has approximately 25 host families, but is always in need of more, especially in the Brookhaven community.
EF Atlanta has created a seamless and easy process for a family to host a student. First, call EF Atlanta and let them know you are interested in hosting. They will ask a series of questions and ensure the student will be within an hour commute to OU by public transportation. They will then forward an application and conduct a home visit to confirm the home is a suitable environment for the student to live in during the duration of their stay. Finally, a contract is drafted and signed by the host family and EF Atlanta, and soon after, a student is contacted who is looking for a host family to live with.
While there are quite a few perks to hosting a student, including going on excursions with all of the exchange students and the EF Atlanta team, none can compare to knowing you helped mentor and teach a student. Furthermore, to help defray the financial costs of hosting, EF provides a stipend to all hosts.


Make dreams come true this fall by hosting an international exchange student. Call EF Atlanta at 404-504-1013 and an EF staff member will be happy to begin this life changing process with you.


–Rachael Brice

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