Shortage of host families for exchange students - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Shortage of host families for exchange students

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WILLIAMSON CO. -- Students from 70 different countries are looking for a temporary home in southern Illinois. The Program of Academic Exchange needs your help to make it happen.

Program director Jamie Ford is looking for families interested in taking in a foreign exchange student for the year, and she needs a lot in a short amount of time.

Ford needs to place 120 exchange students from 70 different countries with host families for the upcoming school year.

"Sooner is better...August 31st is the end of the deadline," said Ford.

Herrin High School teachers Michael Ann Stanley and Cathy Shelton have hosted exchange students in the past, and say it was one of the best experiences they've had.

"We just want to soak up their culture and their differences, use it as an educational opportunity and the way they learn over there versus how we learn over here," said Stanley.

There is one spot left to become a host family in Herrin, but there are plenty of other school districts that need help.

"All the host family has to provide is three meals a day, a bed to sleep in and a quiet place to study," added Shelton.

That's something Ford hopes happens for all 120 high school students looking for a temporary home in our homeland.

If you'd like to learn how to get involved, give Jamie Ford a call at (618) 925-0891.

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