SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - More than 1,000 high school foreign students come to one of New York City’s three major airports to start discovering America every year through the Council on International Education Exchange program, the same program that brought student Antonina Kozielska of Poland, who is studying at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
Now, the council is seeking families in Somerset County to host international students for the 2015-2016 school year.
Students from 55 different countries take part in an orientation program while in the New York City area, and they learn about the aspects of living abroad in the host country and meet other high school students studying. They also have the chance to visit Manhattan and engage in shopping.
From there, the students head to other parts of the country to live with their host families for the next five to 10 months.
CIEE recognizes that there are different types of people interested in hosting throughout the country.
According to a release from the CIEE, the cultural exchange between the family and the student will help everyone gain a deeper understanding of human values that unite all nations, as well as the friendships that evolve through the process.
CIEE began promoting the exchange in 1947, as, in the years following World War II, a number of organizations emerged to promote peaceful coexistence and respect between countries through the student and teacher exchange programs.
CIEE is now looking for new host families in Bridgewater and nearby towns. As a host family, people have the chance to offer a young international student the opportunity to discover America. Students come from Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, Poland, Mexico and Brazil, and will be arriving in August.
All students are thoroughly screened prior to acceptance, and arrive with spending money and full insurance. And local coordinators live in the area to provide immediate guidance.
Families that host students welcome them as one of their own, providing a bed for the student, sharing three meals a daily and including them in their daily lives. CIEE works with all kinds of families, including empty nesters, single parents, retirees and more.
Anyone interested in becoming a host family can contact local coordinator Holly Rausch at 974-271-6166, or CIEE’s main office at 800-448-9944.