A NON-PROFIT EXCHANGE ORGANIZATION FOUNDED IN 1980

About Us

Cultural Homestay International (CHI) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1980 by Tom and Lilka Areton. CHI’s Mission is to promote international understanding and goodwill through people-to-people exchanges. We believe that the best way to build bridges of friendship and trust among people is to experience directly each other’s customs, languages and values. To live, study or work together leads to a transformational experience of acceptance and genuine affection. Young people who live with Americans as a family member, participate in the local community, or train in an American business open their minds to the values of volunteering, democracy and freedom. CHI aspires to share the benefits of cultural interchange with the many nations around the world in the deeply held conviction that such exchanges ultimately contribute to a more prosperous and peaceful world.
For close to 40 years, more than 300,000 students and young adults from over 130 countries have come to our shores to participate in CHI’s educational and cultural programs, including Academic Year High School exchange, short-term Group Homestay, Au Pair child-care, Internship training, Work & Travel, and Camp Counselor experience. For American students seeking cultural experiences abroad, CHI organizes high school study, language teaching adventures, and work programs in various countries around the globe.

Our People

CHI is justly famous for its caring, professional staff as well as its hands-on management style. Still directed by its founders from the San Francisco Bay Area headquarters, CHI continues to inspire with its high quality programs and its dedication to excellence. These qualities distinguish Cultural Homestay International as one of the leaders in the educational and cultural exchange field in North America.

Tom Areton

Executive Director, Co-Founder

Lilka Areton

Assistant Director, Co-Founder

William Murad

Chief Information Officer

Linda Mori

Program Development and Compliance Director

Micki Lalonde

Academic Year, Private High School and Group Homestay Director

Milena Minkova

Work & Travel Director

Kimberley Areton

Internship & Traning Director

Christina Reilly

Au Pair Director

Heidi Smith

World Explorers Director

Tracy Chayet

CHI Office Manager

Kristin Chasan

Communications Coordinator

contact us

How can we help you?