Several organizations are responsible for locating appropriate American host families and schools. They are referred to as “placement organizations” (POs). Placement organizations play a critical role in the functioning and success of the FLEX program because they deal with the program at the grassroots level. These organizations also monitor each participant’s stay with the host family. In addition to identifying schools and screening, selecting, and orienting families, organizations will be responsible for: orienting students at the local level; providing support services for students while they are in the U.S.; arranging enhancement activities and leadership opportunities that reinforce program goals; monitoring students during their stay in the U.S.; providing re-entry training; and assessing student performance and progress. The following placement organizations will place FLEX participants throughout the United States
Why do people host? Host families are volunteers and receive no financial compensation for hosting FLEX students, so why do they do it?
- They value the educational experience hosting a student gives to their own children and family.
- They wish to set a good example for their children.
- They wish to get a firsthand, realistic picture of other cultures.
- They want to give their child the experience of having a sibling.
- They want to demonstrate their dedication to family and the positive development of children.
- They have a personal interest in a particular country.
- They have a desire to share US culture and customs.
General picture of the host family:
- Usually host parents’ age is 35-50
- Though, sometime range is between 27 and 60
- In most cases host families belong middle class
- In a family where both parents are represented, usually both of them work
- Some host families are represented by only one parent
25% of host families do not have kids, because:
- Kids are already grown up and live independently
- Or the family does not have kids
75% of host families do have kids:
- 26% have one child over the age of 18
- 39% have one or more children between the ages of 14 and 17
- 22% have one or more children between the ages of 10 and 13
13% have a newborn or a child under 10 years of age
Rules of conduct in host families
Exchange students are expected to follow the same rules that other host family members follow
The exchange student is not considered as a guest of the family and may have to perform certain household duties/chores
During the program, participants are prohibited from consuming alcohol and drugs (including tobacco).
In the United States participants are prohibited from driving a car, motorcycle (or any other activity that might be dangerous/risky) for the period specified in the program.