No, no pregnancies or anything like that, but we’ve registered and applied to be a host family for a high school foreign exchange student next school year. We’re looking at being matched with a young woman from Slovakia for an entire school year. There’s still red tape and paperwork to get through, but luckily, we both already have our clearances thanks to Girl Scouts, so we shouldn’t have any trouble with that part. Then the young woman gets to read our family and home description and decide if she’s willing to stay with us.
We’re looking forward to sharing our family and neighborhood with a foreign student and at the same time, hoping she can share information and tidbits about her culture with us. We think it’s an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange, and especially for Daughter Person – she’s already asking us when her “big sister” is coming. I’ve heard both great and not so great stories about hosting, but most have been either great or ambivalent, and we can survive almost anything for 10 months. The program has a lot of support if we need it, both emergency and help figuring out solutions to issues, and we’re comfortable with the local coordinator’s ability to match students with host families that generally work together.
From a financial standpoint, we’ll be paying extra for food and gas (transportation), but the students come with $150-$250/mth of spending money, and their own health insurance. We’ll also get to deduct $50/mth on our taxes as a charitable donation. Feeding a teenager may be more than the extra $100/mth we’re planning, but we’ll approach that as we come to it!