Host Families Needed in Baltimore in 2014

Dear Howard County and Baltimore Area Families,

We'd like to invite you to get involved with a non-profit organization whose motto is "Changing the world one student at a time".  AFS (American Field Services). Twenty-some international AFS students will be coming to Howard County next school year for a life-changing year of inter-cultural education. Families who host the students learn about a foreign culture and participate in sharing our American way of life. Many of our chapter activities throughout the year (such as parties, Renaissance festival, White house visit, NYC trip, Six Flags) are also open to siblings or families.

The international students, ages 15-18, arrive in mid-August for an eleven month stay, leaving the last week in June. They become part of your family, and as such the best advice is to parent them as much as possible the way you would a natural son or daughter of the same age. They attend the locally districted high school for your Howard County address without any expense to you or to AFS. Students are welcome (and encouraged!) to get involved in extra curricular activities through school, religious connections and other organizations.

AFS volunteers provide support throughout the year as the students accomplish the challenging but rewarding work of becoming bicultural. The primary support help comes from your liaison, a volunteer dedicated to you and your student who makes at least monthly contact and helps smooth over any areas of friction. We also hold five orientations throughout the eleven months to check on adjustment and give the students encouragement and advice on how to optimize their AFS experience. The volunteer and paid staff is also always available to host families or students in case of questions or difficulties.

Host families agree to house and feed the student without charge. Natural families are advised of the need to provide an allowance of about $150/month for recreation and clothing expenses. AFS as the parent organization makes all travel arrangements and provides an excellent health care insurance with no co-pay. Please contact one of the volunteers below if you would like more information on our program or to see biographical information on students who will be coming to Howard County and the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Fondly,

Sally Byrne Hosting Coordinator, AFS Howard County 301-604-7739 s.b.byrne@juno.com

Cindy Clemens Chapter Coordinator, AFS Howard County 410-730-7411 cindy.clemens@verizon.net

Below are answers to some FAQs:

His own room? The student does not have to have his own room, just a bed to himself. He can share a room with a same-sex sibling if the family chooses.

"Entertaining" the Student? The student is here to experience American home and school life. If sometimes during the year you take him or her to DC or Baltimore, that's nice but you don't need to feel that you're responsible for constantly tour guiding. The student will get into school and other extra-curricular activities much as your own kids do.