Category Archives for "Host Family Expectations and Issues"

Charitable Tax Deductions for Host Families

Many families hosting J-1 exchange students may not be aware that if they itemize their taxes, they can claim a deduction of up to $50/month for each month the exchange student lived in the family’s home. This deduction should be included in the charitable contribution section of one’s tax return. Key elements of this deduction […]

Scaring Exchange Students Straight

“Scared straight” programs were encouraged in the U.S. in the 1970s as a way of deterring juvenile crime. The idea was to show kids what prison looks like, and maybe they’ll decide “that’s not where I want to be.” Taking high school exchange students to visit your local prison probably doesn’t serve much purpose. But […]

So What Do We Talk About With Your Exchange Students At the Beginning of the Year?

Practical Tips for Host Families (and Students, Too!) The U.S. government requires that J-1 visa high school exchange students have both pre-departure and post-arrival orientations. These meetings cover U.S laws, program rules and regulations, expectations for behavior, how to ensure students’ health and safety, and practical tips for success. We’ve been having our post-arrival welcome […]

We Would Love to Host an Exchange Student, But Our Children Are Too Young – True or False?

Potential host families have a number of initial reactions when approached about international youth exchange and the idea of hosting a student: We can’t afford to pay for an exchange student’s travel expenses, or his school fees, and think about how much teenagers spend on snack food, going to the movies, etc.! (Answer: host families […]

Second Half of the Exchange Year: No Problems, Right?

I wrote the post below at just about this time last year.  I’ve gone back to re-read it and it is so perfectly on-point for what we see that I’m re-posting it with only a few changes. I’ve talked to three students and host families in the past two weeks about issues that they have […]

We Think We Want to Host an Exchange Student: What Do We Need to Know?

Why is hosting is a good idea? Student educational exchanges became popular after World War II. The U.S. government encouraged exchanges to increase participants’ understanding and tolerance of other cultures, as well as improve language skills and broaden young people’s social horizons. The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (more commonly called the […]

The Half-Year Exchange: An Easier or Harder Road to Navigate?

A little over a year ago, in January 2013, my then-18-year-old son left the United States to go on a six-month exchange to Ghana.  He was working as a volunteer teaching assistant rather than attending high school, and he was part of a close-knit exchange group.  He had the usual fears and ups-and-downs that an […]

The Second Half of the Exchange Year: All Fun and Games?

The second half of the exchange year is the perfect time to relax with your student and enjoy the relationship.  By now, your student knows your house rules, is familiar with how things work at school, and probably has made a few friends. So nothing to worry about, right?  I certainly hope that’s true, and […]

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