Growing our Family – Temporarily

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!

4 thoughts on “Growing our Family – Temporarily

  1. Benjamin


    Just found your blog. Loved it!

    I like the fact you are open to receive foreign students. 🙂 It will be a great experience for your daughter to have a big sis from a different country (especially Slovakia).

    Wish you all the best

    1. Mom Post author

      We are really looking forward to it. We’re officially matched now and I’ve been able to “talk” with her via e-mail and she seems like a very nice young lady!

  2. The One in Debt

    How exciting you were officially matched! I have often thought about hosting but currently do not have the space. I think it would be enriching to have that experience. And if it didn’t go as par, like you said you will have the resources for support. I look forward to hearing about your experience as a host.

    And I didn’t realize you don’t receive a small stipend in support for hosting. I was reading guidelines for students coming here to my local area, where they were charging $15,500 for the year. Found it, it’s called the F-1 Visa International Student program. What is all that money funding?!

    ps – I was reading your NW updates. Congrats on the continued climbing in net worth.

    1. Mom Post author

      I *think* she’s coming in on a J-1 visa. I know she had to pay a hefty fee on her side to be in the program. I suspect that a lot of that is insurance coverage while she’s here, and they are required to purchase open-jaw flights to and from New York City, and then to the host city.


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