Why host a student

Hosting Opportunities In 2014

Students from around the world have completed a rigorous selection process, and are excitedly preparing for their year, semester, or summer abroad. Now is the time for families who are thinking about hosting to gather information and begin the application process.

To find out more about hosting an AFS student, email our Silver and Gold Hosting Coordinator, Carol McCaulley at afssilverandgold@gmail.com . Or, fill out an online Host Family Interest Form and a local AFS volunteer will contact you to answer your questions.

Why Host an AFS Exchange Participant?

  • Enrich your family’s daily life simply by sharing it with a young person from another culture and country
  • Introduce a new culture and customs to your children
  • See the U.S. and our culture through new eyes
  • Develop a lifelong connection with your hosted participant and his or her family
  • Help an outstanding young person grow into a more confident and knowledgeable adult

 Share Your World By Becoming A Host Family

 As an AFS Host Family, you will open your home to a new family member. You will share your culture, your traditions, and your version of America. You will forever impact your student's life, and your own.

 Participants are carefully matched, and volunteers are always on hand to make sure that you and your student have the support and tools you need for a positive experience.                          

Is hosting right for your family?

Host families in the Silver and Gold Area come in all shapes and sizes -- families with teenagers, families with younger children or families with no kids at home. Right now, single parent, multi-generational and gay and lesbian-headed families from Rio Vista to Reno and everywhere in between are serving as AFS host families. For more information about what's involved in hosting, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Who are the students?


AFS students come from more than 50 countries around the world. After you and your family complete the application process, a Silver and Gold volunteer will share profiles and photos of prospective students with you, so that you can identify someone who might be a good fit for your family's lifestyle.

We also offer special hosting opportunities through three sponsored programs:

Youth Exchange and Study (YES) provides scholarships for students from countries with large Muslim populations
Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) brings students from former Soviet republics to the U.S.
Congress Bundestag (CBYX) provides scholarships for students from Germany

Read what AFS host mom Kathleen Menke from Elk Grove had to share about her own family's hosting experiences.  Kathleen, '77-'78 to Uruguay, always knew she wanted to 'pay it forward' by being a host mom someday....

Why did you first decide to become an AFS host family?
Our first AFS daughter came to us unexpectedly when our daughters were only 6 and 9 years old, and it was a magical year! John suggested we host again nine years later, and the adventure continues!
Who are the AFS students your family has hosted in the past?'97-'98, Leidy Santander, Venezuela (now an Industrial Engineer with Ford Motor in Venezuela)
'06-'07, Kathrin Werner, Germany (now in medical school in Germany)
'08-'09, Steffen Hilllmer, Germany (Olympic-caliber swimmer, likely to swim in 2016 Olympics)
'11-'12, Hanna Moisio, Finland (one more year left of high school, career path uncertain)
'12-'13 Nine Puapan, Thailand (future dentist)
'12-'13, Andrés Rincón, Colombia (future lawyer, politician, president of Colombia!)

What do you enjoy most about hosting exchange students?
For us, one word sums up the hosting experience: love. The bonds are intense, forged by shared struggles and a lot of laughter!
What piece of advice would you give to future AFS host families?
To future/prospective AFS families we would say: "Do it!" Open your hearts and minds and prepare to be stretched, and then get ready to realize how much richer your world has become because of your new son or daughter.