World Exchange program seeking host families for foreign exchange students

Last year’s group of foreign exchange students pictured during a tour of Old Town Clovis. CONTRIBUTED BY LISAMARIE SLATER

For over 30 years, World Exchange has made possible the ability for students from overseas to visit the United States and learn about our culture.

From July 11-30, families in the Clovis and Fresno area can welcome students from France into their homes.

World Exchange is looking for families to host students who still haven’t found a host family yet.

“The objective for the students is to just share their culture and come here and experience American culture and share a little bit about the French culture,” explained LisaMarie Slater, the program’s regional director. “It is an outreach of international friendship and the idea to break down some of those stereotypes and barriers that exist.”

Host families are not required to speak French in order to host a student.

“The students’ English is actually quite good. All of them take English classes in school in France and so when they come here they are able to communicate quite well. It is one of the goals of the program that they come here and improve their English,” Slater said.

The need for host families is urgent as the deadline to find homes is approaching. There are still four students that have yet to find a host family.

Anael is 15 years old. She enjoys watching “Doctor Who” on TV and recently learned how to knit and paint. She lives in the 12th district of Paris. Anael is also afraid of dogs so families with those might not be the ideal fit.

Louis, 17, like sports. He enjoys traveling and would like to be a steward for Air France in the future. He also enjoys playing video games. He lives in the south of France, near Montpellier and is allergic to cats.

Sacha is 15. She just finished an internship for at a famous fashion magazine in June. She plays badminton and enjoys music and traveling. She says that she would enjoy teaching her host family some French. Sacha lives very close to Paris.

Kevin is 18. He loves Barcelona football club and also likes watching movies. He plays the video game Fortnite and says that he is curious, funny and generous. He lives near Paris and Euro Disney.

In order to host, families must file an application at which someone will come out to the home and make sure that it is a safe environment for the visiting student.

“My experience is that the students have a wonderful time,” Slater said. “They enjoy the time that they spend with their host families. If they do get to do a little travel with their host families, they are generally very grateful for that. I have had parents in France email me after their student got home and say ‘thank you.’”

To find more information about how to apply to become a host family, contact LisaMarie Slater at 559-515-0373 or bonjourworld@comcast.net