Families in need for influx of foreign exchange students

Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 8:20 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Exchange students that come to Michigan to study abroad need of host families.

The National Association of Foreign Student Advisers said bout 4,000 kids come to Michigan to study abroad. Since there are not as many COVID restrictions as there were in 2020, there are even more kids are coming to study in the state.

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For this reason, more host families are needed to house these students. One family that has hosted foreign exchange students is the Costello’s.

Kayla and Vernon Costello have hosted foreign exchange students for four years.

“Opening up our home to these kids has been life-changing,” said Kayla Costello.

They said they have been able to collide two worlds together. The Costello’s said it is an experience that is mutually beneficial.

“They bring all of these different ideas and new ways of life into your life, and when you put those two together it kind of opens up new doors,” said Vernon Costello.

Since COVID restrictions have eased, program directors said more foreign students have signed up for a year in America.

However, a lot of them are still on a waiting list to be placed with a family.

“This year we are placing more students than we ever have before because so many of them have been deferred due to the pandemic,” said Regional Director of Council for Education Travel USA, Amanda Osborne.

Council For Education Travel USA (CETUSA) is an international student exchange program where kids can study aboard. She said during the pandemic, CETUSA had to turn kids away due to not having enough host families.

“The pressure is definitely greater because there are so many more kids that missed out on that and would still like to capture that,” Osborne added.

Vernon Costello said opening your home could help give these kids opportunities they can not get anywhere else.

“They get that extra rite of passage that some schools in other countries don’t offer. They don’t offer that rite of passage, that next step in life like we do,” said Vernon.

If you want to be a host family there is an application process. It includes a background check, references, and an in-home interview.

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