"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You have the opportunity to make a dream come true!

Have you ever thought about hosting a foreign exchange student? If so, this is your chance! If not, then maybe this is the time to give it some thought.

My sweet friend, Charlotte, helps connect host families with a child. Below I've pasted some information that she sent me. Time is running out for some of these kids to start school in the U.S., since visas need to be ordered.

Please, if you are interested in helping a child and adding a great experience to your family, don't wait. You can email Charlotte by clicking HERE.

"It doesn't matter where you're located, I can help answer your questions, help you through the application, profile choices and get you a placement. After a placement is made, you will be given a local rep. in your area to help with any questions, etc you have. Once the placement is made, your child will be notified and you will be able to correspond with them until they arrive in August.We have kids from most countries you can think of. A lot from Taiwan (several girls), Korea, Germany, just a few left from China (mostly boys), etc. The average age is 15-16 and stay for one year (a school year), some stay only half a year.

I also contact the schools for you (sometimes I have to ask for you to call when I'm coming up against walls with them, a local person sometimes can get much further than someone out of state calling) to get permission to enroll your child there. I will talk you through what to tell them and once we get someone acting positive, I'm here for any questions they have and getting paperwork to them.

What I like about Forte is they stress treating the students as your own. I look forward to building a relationship with our girl from China :) and hope to have her as a life long friend! We already talk on the computer every day for hours at a time. With her being thirteen hours a head of us, I many times have to kick in to mom-mode and tell her she better get on to bed. lolThe program encourages you to share your beliefs and ways of life with the kids. The kids are aware of this ahead of time and look forward to a different life style than at home. Instead of thinking of places near by where you can take them for food from home, think more burgers and fries. Food from home is good for homesickness though.

A little thing I'm doing for our student is something I think all families should consider. I'm asking her to bring her favorite pictures of her family, we're going to blow them up when she gets here, frame them and put them up, so she always has her family close to her. She was thrilled with this and she says she's very grateful for her family to be honored along with our family. Right off, a few questions you might have:

**Who pays for their travel?

The student pays for everything themselves except room and board,they have a monthly allowance from home to pay for school lunches, clothes,extra activities at school, etc. The program emphasizes the kids tolearn independence and money management. Some students have private school funds as well.

**What if something goes wrong?

These are good students that had to do a lot to make the program andhave their families fund their trips. They have studied hard for years to qualify for the program, they must have a good English understanding, excellent grades and a sports or musicial talent. Many times families have sacrificed a lot to have the money for their children to attend the program, the kids don't want to disappoint their families due to their sacrifice. Of course, a child could still act up but they risk being sent home and know this ahead of time. Your local rep. is there for you to talk to about any problems and settle any issues. You aren't handed a child and then left on your own.

**Do you get paid for being a host family?

No, this is a voluntary position to help a child have the chance tostudy in America, many of these children have dreamed of coming toAmerica all of their lives. You are allowed a $50 per month (they live with you) discount on your Federal taxes.

Lastly, we're running out of time, the students are supposed to travel here next month and we have to have time to arrange their Visa's.

We need families ASAP!! If families don't step up, the kids not matched will not be able to attend the program this year.

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1 comment :

Christine said...

This is a wonderful idea. We have done something similar on four different occasions and each time it has been a blessing.

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