Fulfill a Holiday Wish by Becoming a Host Family
Foreign high school students are scheduled to arrive soon for
academic semester homestay programs, and the sponsoring
organization needs a few more local host families. The students
are anxiously awaiting news of their new families. This is the
final push for the chance of these young ambassadors to fulfill
their life-long dreams.
According to Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.) President,
John Doty, the students are all between the ages of 15 and 18
years, are English-speaking, have their own spending money, carry
accident and health insurance, and are anxious to share their
cultural experiences with their new American families. P.I.E.
currently has programs to match almost every family's needs,
ranging in length from one semester to a full academic year,
where the students attend local public and private high schools.
P.I.E. area representatives match students with host families by
finding common interests and lifestyles through an informal in-
home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review
student applications and select the perfect match. As there are
no "typical" host families, P.I.E. can fit a student into just
about any situation, whether it is a single parent, a childless
couple, a retired couple or a large family.
Families who host for P.I.E. are also eligible to claim a monthly charitable
contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns
for each month they host a sponsored student.
For the upcoming programs, P.I.E. has students from Germany, the
Former Soviet Union, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary,
Korea, Mexico, Australia, China, and many other countries. P.I.E.
is also participating in two special government-funded programs
to bring scholarship students from the Newly Independent States
of the former Soviet Union as well as predominantly Islamic
countries such as Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, Iraq and
Qatar to the United States. P.I.E. is a non-profit educational
organization that has sponsored more than 25,000 students from 45
countries since its founding in 1975. The organization is
designated by the United States Department of State and is listed
by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel
(CSIET), certifying that the organization complies with the
standards set forth in CSIET's Standards for International
Educational Travel Programs.
Doty encourages families to contact the program immediately, as
it will allow the proper time for the students and hosts to get
to know one another before they actually meet for the first time.
Vermilion area families interested in learning more about
student exchange or arranging for a meeting with a community
representative may call P.I.E., toll-free, at 1-866-546-1402. The
agency also has travel/study program opportunities available for
American high school students as well as possibilities for
community volunteers to assist and work with area host families,
students and schools.