Help educate tomorrow's leaders

To the editor,

International Student Exchange (ISE), a nonprofit organization, is looking for volunteer families to host international high school students in the coming academic year. Host families can expect to gain a new family member, experience a new culture, create lifelong friendships and make a positive impact locally and globally. High school classes will start soon and interested parties must apply immediately.

ISE is looking for host families in the Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio and surrounding Four Corner areas. Host families are responsible for three meals a day and providing a bed. A student may share a room with a same-sex sibling that is within four years of age. The family should welcome the student and treat them as a member of the family. The students are not just guests and are expected to help with household chores just as your own kids would.

The international exchange students are between the ages of 15 and 18 and come from countries such as Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Thailand, Brazil, Italy, Norway and others. “The exchange program focuses on bringing the people of the world closer together while educating the leaders of tomorrow through student exchange,” Wayne Brewer, CEO of International Student Exchange, says. American teenagers can also study abroad through International Student Exchange.

The deadline to match students with families is Aug. 31 and families can select an international student based on shared interests, hobbies, gender, etc. Family screening includes a background check, an in-home interview and verification of personal references. The international students are English-speaking and have their own spending money. Americans provide the caring environment, room and daily meals.

For more information about hosting, please contact Chris Talleri, your ISE local area representative at (970) 759-0325 or email at christalleri@gmail.com. If you are ready to apply or for more information about the agency you may go directly to fourcorners.iseusa.org.

– Michele Blunt, ISE regional manager, via email