SUMMIT, NJ – You may not be able to afford to see the world this summer, but thanks to a local student program, the world can come to you.
Academic Adventures in America, based in Summit for the past 25 years, is a non-profit student exchange program in which students from different countries stay with local families while they take part in a three-week program.
While the program has been a huge success since its inception, Director Rose Jackson said this is the first year she has had trouble finding host families. Of the approximately 50 students who arrive every year, this year there are still 10 students without a place to stay.
The students are boys and girls, and range in age from 13 to 18. They are from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Taiwan, and will be in Summit from July 9-29.
Jackson said the only requirements of a host family are to provide the student with a place to sleep and meals. Their program has daily activities, including morning English classes, local afternoon activities, full-day excursions to New York City, the beach, Princeton, and a three-day trip to Washington DC, with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Jackson said she tells families it's like having a kid at home who goes to camp all day.
“The family is asked only to provide a welcoming home to a student, giving them a bed, three meals a day, and a loving, welcoming atmosphere,” Jackson explained. She said the family need not have teenaged children to participate – or any children at all - and it is not necessary to speak any of the foreign languages.
“The students have all studied English and want to improve their conversational ability,” she said.
This year’s students are arriving Monday, July 9. If you’re interested in hosting a student, please contact Jackson at 908-273-1756, or by email at Rosejackson@att.net. If you are unable to host a student for the full three weeks but would still like to get involved, it’s possible to host for part of their stay.