Experience American high school from a new perspective by bringing a new friend into the school community for a few weeks. For the past ten years, ANDEO has been connecting school groups from France, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Japan with American families and schools. The international teens follow a host sibling's schedule at school, assist in language classes as requested, and spend weekends bonding with their American hosts.
ANDEO works closely with world language teachers and school administrators to obtain permission for the visit and coordinate the program. The experience is a big hit with students, families, and teachers, because it can really spark kids' interest in foreign languages and inspire them to develop curiosity and openness toward other cultures – important skills for future global citizens!
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Frequently Asked Questions about School Visit Programs
What is expected of host families?
We ask that families provide three meals per day and a separate bed. With our teen programs, students can share a room with another student or a host sibling as long as they are of the same gender and close in age. The students have chosen a homestay program because they really want to practice their English and learn about American culture; therefore the most important role of our host families is to include them in day-to-day activities and conversations and make them feel like part of the family!
We don't have a separate bed--can the student sleep on an air mattress?
This is a common question! The students need to sleep in real beds. A good solution is for a host sibling to sleep on the air mattress and give the student his or her bed.
Our family doesn't fit the "mom and dad and two kids" model, can we still host?
Of course! Our host families come in all shapes and sizes. The only requirement for this program is that you have a teen at home who will be the international student's main companion at school.
What is expected of students?
The students are expected to make every effort to adapt to your family's schedule and way of life and use their English language skills! All students are recommended by their English teachers and screened by our partner organizations in their home countries. Our partners abroad provide comprehensive orientations before the programs begin. Students and their parents also sign an agreement that spells out the program rules.
Do the students speak English?
Yes, and they really want to practice and improve their English! The students’ skill levels vary depending on their age, nationality, and prior experience with the language, but all students on our school visitor programs must pass a language requirement to participate in the experience. In any case, we have plenty of suggestions on how to make communication work across the language barrier. Smiles, funny drawings, gestures, and simple English phrases go a long way!
Do we need to speak our student's language?
No. In fact, if you happen to speak your student's language, we prefer that you don't use it. One of the main goals of all our students is to improve their English. The sooner they get used to working through the challenges of language immersion, the more progress they will make.It might seem helpful to offer to speak in your student's native language, but you can actually help more by speaking slowly, writing down difficult words, or trying to phrase things differently. It's fun to watch students get more comfortable with their English language skills each day!
Do we have to do anything to get the visit approved by the school?
Not usually. We work closely with each school's administrators to obtain approval for the students' visits. Throughout the program, we support teachers, administrators, students, and host families to make the most of this learning opportunity.
Can our visitor join extracurricular activities?
Great idea! Most visitors would love to practice with your teen’s sports team, club, or music ensemble, as long as it is ok with the coach or teacher! Bringing an international student into the mix often adds to the fun! Be sure to let us know if you want us to match you with a student who shares an enthusiasm for a particular sport or hobby.
What will the international visitors do at school? What about after school?
Your teen visitor will shadow a host sibling at school, assist the language teacher as requested, and offer an international perspective during discussions. If host siblings are busy after school, the teens are prepared to do things like work on a school project, help prepare dinner, or play with younger siblings.
What kind of support does ANDEO offer?
Before the arrival of your student, we will provide an in-home orientation that covers everything from cultural differences to suggestions for helping your student adapt to your way of life. Throughout the program, our hosting coordinators will be available to answer any questions you may have and to solve any issues that may arise. We are on-call 24-hours, in case of emergency. We want students and families to have a successful and rewarding homestay experience, and we do everything possible to help facilitate this goal.
What if our student becomes sick or injured?
All students are covered by medical and accident insurance. Coverage is comprehensive, except for eye and dental care (unless required as the result of an accident). The application form for minors includes a medical release formed signed by their parents/guardians. In case of illness or accident, we ask you to treat your student like your own child and act accordingly. If there is a serious problem, families should contact us as soon as possible so we can keep the student’s parents informed.