Host a foreign exchange student

Become a host family and open your eyes to the world.

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Find your future exchange student today.

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Become a host family

How does it work?

Host for 5 or 10 months

An exchange will go quickly, but the connections you make will last forever. Open your eyes to the world through exchange and build a global family.

You decide which student

Access 300+ student profiles from Europe and Asia. Find the right student for your family by filtering our student list.

Pay it forward

Hosting is a great way to volunteer. Open your home and enrich both your community and family’s life!

Want to host for a shorter duration?

Can’t host for an academic year or semester, but excited about the idea of cultural exchange? Become a welcome family and host for 2-3 months.

Become a welcome family

What is a welcome family?

We are happy to offer our welcome family program to families that are interested in hosting but hesitant about the full-year or semester commitment.

A welcome family commits to hosting an exchange student for the first 2-3 months of the student’s exchange, or until a permanent family in the community is finalized.

As a welcome family, you make an exchange student’s dream possible by helping to acclimate them to their new U.S. community and school, while a long-term family is identified through EF’s network.

Welcoming a student allows families to commit to a shorter timeframe, if a year or semester is not an option. Our welcome families and students receive the same support and guidance both locally and from EF global offices.

Families that host for a shorter duration are instrumental in helping our students start their exchange on the right foot. If during the experience, a welcome family realizes they would like to commit to hosting their student long-term, we welcome that change and would work with the host family through that process.

See available students

Choose EF

We bring more exchange students to the US each year than any other high school exchange program. Since 1979, our organization has connected more than 100,000 international students with caring host families across America. We proudly work alongside the US Department of State in promoting public diplomacy through our program.

Our guide to hosting

The student selection

We only accept students who will flourish on an intercultural exchange. Our thorough screening and preparation process set our students up for success.

Choosing your student

Once you have been accepted into our program, you will be able to choose students from 13 different countries. Our EF team will help you find the best match.

The EF support network

We provide host families and students with proactive outreach and individualized support. Our local and regional coordinators will be within driving distance.

What is hosting like?

Our host families come in all shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common: they open their homes and share their lives with exchange students from around the world.

Read our stories

Share your traditions: Halloween

Learn more about hosting an exchange student

Join our next online information meeting to find out what it means to host a foreign exchange student. Learn about this exciting volunteer program and get your questions answered.

The exchange community

Hosting a foreign exchange student doesn't take anything fancy—just a warm, welcoming spirit and the love you'd give to your own family. For our exchange students, it’s the little things that make their year special.

We believe in learning from each other

Our mission is to open the world through education. We strive to create the opportunity for a life changing cultural exchange for students, host families and schools regardless of gender identity, race, sexual orientation or religion. Our goal is to build cross cultural understanding, global families, and an inclusive experience for all program participants.

→ Learn more about our efforts

We are actively taking steps towards:

We recognize that each individual is unique and understand that each one of us brings something different to the table. Diversity is a fact.


We commit to breaking down the barriers that may have prevented some of us from receiving fair treatment and opportunities in the past. Equity is a process.


Everyone, regardless of where they live, who they love, their spirituality or the color of their skin has the power to contribute to this organization’s success. Inclusion is a behavior.


No one is you, and that is your superpower. Belonging is the freedom to be your true self at EF.

Want to know more about hosting?

Are you ready to experience a new culture at home? Talk with us and start your hosting journey now.

Tell us about yourself

Speak to an EF exchange advisor

Choose your exchange student

Learn more about hosting with EF

FAQ - Hosting a foreign exchange student

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about hosting a foreign exchange student

Let’s connect!

Talk to us directly: +1 800 447 4273

Send an email: [email protected]

© EF Education First 2011-2022. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.