Updated 7/8/2022

We love sharing the adventure of student exchange! But what if a family can’t host for the full school year? Easy! They can help as a welcome family!


What is a “welcome family?”

A welcome family hosts a student on a short-term basis at the beginning of the school year.


Why are welcome families important?

Welcome families fill an important role by allowing a student to come to the U.S. and begin the exchange year! Welcome families offer the warmth and support of family while we secure a permanent placement. All students must be placed in a host home by August 31, so we work with welcome families to help ensure we can meet that deadline for every student in our program.  With the support of our schools and communities, we work hard to make sure “no child is left behind!”

“We loved the idea of helping an exchange student, but we just couldn’t commit to the timeframe. When we heard there was a short-term option, we jumped at the chance to be a welcome family!” – Maria Jones, KY


What benefits can a welcome family expect?

Welcome families, like permanent families, enjoy the opportunity to connect with a high school student from another country. The shorter time commitment allows nearly any family the opportunity to host a student!


How long does a welcome family typically host?

We work with our families to establish their preference and availability, but the average welcome family placement lasts between 3-6 weeks.


How does a welcome family become approved to host?

Welcome families complete the same application process as permanent host families, including an online application, criminal background check, in-home interview, and character references.


Who is a good candidate to become a welcome family?

Anyone who genuinely wants to serve a student but is not able to host long-term should consider hosting as a welcome family!


Ready to begin? Visit IE-USA.org to view profiles of students!