Flexible work for stay-at-home parents

As many stay-at-home moms, DeDee from South Dakota wanted to find a flexible role to work around her schedule. She tells us how she promotes our program in her community.

“Most of my families get to visit their exchange students in their country.”

What do you love most about the exchange coordinator role?

Seeing families connect, grow to love, hate to say goodbye, visit their host student in their own country and eventually keep in contact as host “grandparents” as their students marry and have children. It’s love, and it helps the world go ‘round a little smoother. We invest in our students’ lives, and many times when they return to visit their host families, the students make a point to come see us, their old IECs as well. We love that, too.

It seems you have made amazing connections as an IEC. How do you build relationships with the students and families you work with?   

We try very hard to connect with our students on a personal level, like going to their sporting event or plays, proms, and cheering them on. We encourage communication and ask questions without embarrassment to help make sure the exchange is a positive one for students and families.

“The amount of time spent per week ranges between an hour to several hours per week. It suits my lifestyle perfectly.”

How do you promote our exchange program in your community? 

My family and I have set up tables at local events, put flyers in church bulletins and had students record PSA radio ads for us. Facebook posts are always welcome, they keep us in front of people.

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© EF Education First 2011-2021. 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.