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The Exchange Mom

Your "go to" site for high school cultural exchange

We’ve had many great experiences as host parents and as exchange coordinators, and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Our goal with this website is to better prepare host families, students, and parents back home for cultural exchange.


  Recent Blog Posts:


Communicating is Even More Important Than You Think
One of the hardest things an exchange student or a host family may face is sharing information that might result[...]
The Tree of Language
Trees are a fascinating way to show relationships between languages. Minna Sundberg, a Finnish illustrator, used a tree very effectively[...]
Superstitions: Our Strange Beliefs
We often find ourselves stopping while we are talking to an exchange student in our group and asking, “do you[...]
How To Be A Parent When Your Child Is On An International Student Exchange Program
by Jana Grobbelaar, Moomie, South Africa Regardless of whether your child is in secondary school or university, an international exchange[...]

About the Exchange Mom (and Dad)

 Laura Kosloff and Mark Trexler brought their first foreign exchange student (from Spain) into their home in Portland, Oregon in 2003. Since then, they have hosted over a dozen students from countries around the world. As regional coordinators for one of the largest J-1 exchange organizations operating in the U.S., they mentor and oversee dozens of students and their host families every year.

Thanks for your response [on the differences between F-1 and J-1 visas for high school students]. You are probably the best source of info we’ve found on this complicated issue.

John T.

After going with another program this past year due to space availability at our school, we've come to realize what an amazing exchange coordinator you are. You are always there when we've needed you and you know all the right things to say and do with teenagers!​

Sandy N.

​Thank you so much for your thoughtful and quick response! I think your suggestions will really help me put myself in the school's shoes and see their needs, too.

Liz A.

Laura Kosloff and Mark Trexler's book, We Would Love to Host an Exchange Student, But . . . is a practical guide for anyone interested in high school exchanges in the US: host families as well as international students and their families. Laura and Mark have been hosting exchange students since 2003 and have been local coordinators for EF High School Exchange Year for nine years. Divided into six chapters ranging from Basics over the Background of International Exchanges to Personal Stories, this book offers advice and insight into many aspects of high school exchanges. ... A great resource for anyone interested in international youth exchanges in the USA.

Helene Rybol, author of Reverse Culture Shock and Culture Shock: A Practical Guide

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