Hosting an international student
Hosting a foreign student gives one an opportunity to have a glimpse into a different culture, to exchange information, and to make new friends. Most often, families with children will offer to host a student; however even if you are a couple without children you'll have a wonderful time!
The guidelines for becoming a host family are mostly common sense - take care of the child as you would your own; include him or her in your daily life activities; create a sense of family; ensure his or her safety.
Because of the core volunteer ethos of this program, the host family is expected to provide for meals and simple expenses. Some stipend may be provided at times.
Means for communication with the student's family should be encouraged, for example via email, Skype or phone calls. Upon arrival,students should be told the house rules and reminded as necessary. They are not allowed to participate in extreme sports, driving, alcohol consumption, smoking or any other situations that put their health or safety at risk. Travel outside Massachusetts is not typically encouraged, but this is decided on a case by case basis. The guest student should not be entrusted with the responsibility of caring for younger children. Although we prefer to keep children with the same host family for the entire period, in cases of emergency, EERC will try to find alternative placements.
About the students
They are ages 12-15, English speaking, in excellent academic standing and chosen for their strengths and interests. They will have medical insurance for the time they are in the United States. The students arrive at the end of June and leave 4-5 weeks later depending when their camp program ends. Each summer there is an EERC Host Family Liaison that is the point person for any issues that arise. The Host Family Liaison may also arrange special group educational activities on some weekends, but normally the host family is expected to incorporate the child into its usual weekend activities.
How to become a host family
Each family has to fill out an application. The host family needs at least one reference (community, work or friends). An EERC representative will visit the home and meet with all family members. EERC does its best to match children and host families, but sometimes logistical imperatives (proximity to camp, adults' commuting schedules) take precedence in the matching process.
Host Family Application