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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Reasons to Become a YFU Host Family

Previous exchange student Anika with her host family

YFU organizations all over the world are currently looking for host families for the 2014/2015 academic year, so we put together a list of five reasons why you should host a YFU exchange student. Becoming a YFU family is a great opportunity to make the world your home and become part of a wonderful global community! Here are just a few reasons why you should welcome a student into your home this year:

1. A new relationship that will last forever

Deciding to become a YFU family is a very big decision to make, and we want your relationship with your exchange student to be as special as possible. YFU will help you choose a student who will be a good fit for your household, and become part of your family for the year. You will get to have a new family member who you will be in contact with for years to come! YFU host families develop a very close bond with their exchange student, and it’s a great chance to make a lifelong connection with someone from another part of the world.

2. A chance to develop language skills

YFU has organizations in over 50 countries, so exchange students come from many different languages and cultures. If someone in your family knows or is learning a foreign language, it may even be possible for you to host an exchange student who is a native speaker of that language! Not only does it give you a chance to practice your language skills, but it also helps the student to settle in and feel at home much quicker.

3. Learn about global acceptance and tolerance

Whether you speak their language or not, having a young person from another culture living with you is an experience that everyone in your family will benefit from. The world is full of different cultures and values, and learning tolerance and open-mindedness is a great asset for people of any age to have. Becoming a YFU host family is a fantastic opportunity for your whole family to learn about accepting differences and understanding another person’s values.

4. Share your own culture

At YFU, we like our students to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of their host country, and we encourage that our families assist with this. Exchange students will want to learn all they can about your country, and you can share that with them—whether it’s teaching them to cook your country’s traditional food, showing them the sights, or teaching them about your national holidays. You will play a very special role in teaching them about your country, and you will also gain a new insight into your culture and surroundings through the eyes of a foreigner.

5. Make the world your home!

This is YFU ‘s motto for a reason—by becoming a YFU host family, you get to explore the world without ever leaving your home country! Living with an exchange student gives you an insight into their culture, traditions, language and way of life. It’s a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the world, and make new connections with another country. And don’t forget—you’ll have an excuse to go visit them in their home country in the years to come!

So what are you waiting for? Embrace the opportunity to get to know the world, and become a YFU host family today! Most exchange students will arrive in mid-August, and stay until the end of June next year. They will be aged between 15-18 and could be from any number of countries around the world.

YFU accepts all kinds of families: children or no children, same-sex couples, and single parents/adults. As long as you’re willing to welcome a student into your home and your family, you are eligible to apply and have the year of a lifetime with your exchange student! For more information, check out yfu.org to find your home country’s organization.

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