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Why host with AFS?

With 75 years of experience and 100 years of history, AFS is a leader in international high school exchange. One thing that sets us apart is our network of almost 3,000 volunteers throughout the U.S. Many of our volunteers have hosted international exchange students or studied abroad with AFS. These local volunteers support families, students, and schools in gaining the most from their hosting experience.

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We support you.

We’re here to help every step of the way.

Local Coordinators
An AFS Local Coordinator (Liaison) will be your primary point of contact throughout your student’s stay. They will check in with you, answer questions, and help resolve concerns. Many of our coordinators have been hosts themselves so you’re in good hands.

24/7 National Support
Our national staff and 24/7 hotline offer additional support—and peace of mind—if you ever need it.

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We connect you.

Connecting with other members of the AFS community is one of the most rewarding aspects of hosting.

Meet Other Hosts and Students
Many host families and students get together throughout the year for volunteer-run events, field trips, and home-cooked meals to build a community of comfort, kindness, and connection.

Extend Your Family
Host families often develop close relationships with their student’s family, and many find opportunities to visit them long after they’ve returned home. 

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We know budgets are tight.

We’re glad to say that hosting a student doesn’t need to break the bank. Let’s break down some expenses.

Your Expenses
As a host parent, you must provide your student with three meals a day and transportation to and from school and school activities, such as the school bus. That’s it! Other costs such as family trips, participation in group outings, or personal items for students are at your discretion.

Covered Expenses
Fees such as secondary medical insurance, school enrollment, and travel expenses are paid by the student’s family or scholarship.

Spending Money
Students bring their own spending money for clothes, social activities, and other personal expenses.

Tax Deductions
As a host parent, you will be entitled to a tax deduction for each month an AFS student lives in your home.

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We select smart, passionate students.

We thoughtfully select students to participate in our programs through a rigorous application process.

Our students are ambitious, curious, passionate, and eager to share their culture with their host communities. They want to learn about the values we strive for in the U.S. 

Also, a select number of our students receive full merit-based scholarships awarded by the U.S. Department of State. In order to come to the U.S. on these scholarships and become a member of a host family, school, and community, students engage in a highly competitive selection process in their home countries.

Meet Our Students
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We find the right student for you.

Using our experience and broad selection of students, we work with you to find just the right fit for your home.

Our Expertise
AFS has been matching hosts with students for 75 years. In addition, many of our local coordinators have been hosts themselves. So they know the great care and consideration it takes to find just the right student for you.

Your Choice
While we suggest students based on family composition, personality type and needs, ultimately you choose the student that fits best in your home. And since we have more than 1,000 students from 80 countries, you have many options to choose from.

What If…
“What if my student doesn’t work out?” It’s a question we get asked a lot. Rest assured, we’ll work with you to resolve the issue, if needed.

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We help you adjust.

Yes, living with a teenager is exhilarating and daunting. From arrival day at the airport to introducing your student to your home—and their share of the household chores—to just settling in to a daily routine, we have tips, trainings, and other resources to help you and your student adjust to life together.

Frequently Asked Questions

All types of families are encouraged to apply; there is no “typical” AFS Host Family. Families can have small or teenage children at home, be empty nesters with adult children, or be couples with no children. Single adults and single parents are also welcome. While there are basic host family requirements, families shouldn’t worry about being too busy – AFS provides a great support network of volunteers who arrange activities for the exchange students; however, the more opportunity the AFS Exchange Student has to experience your life, the better!

Have questions? We’re here to help.

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