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Hosting will change you forever
Exchange students become part of your family
Cultural Homestay International

Jennifer Anslow

Meet Jennifer, your area administrator

When I first hosted my first student, Francesco from Italy, I was concerned. I was a second family for him through no fault of his own (the previous host family was having medical issues). I was concerned that because I was a single woman, would I be able to do this? I have never had any children although I had 2 nieces and a nephew. After a bit of a difficult start due to me never having any children and being nervous about being a parent, I loved it. I was hooked. It was such a treat to see Massachusetts from someone else’s eyes. The wonder of visiting places that I had seen before but through his eyes was amazing. It may be just going for a drive down Cape Cod, walking around Boston for an afternoon or actually looking at a historical site. He also did explore without me. The second half of the year, he cooked all the time! Oh, my gosh, I totally enjoyed the Italian food. He was my first international “son” and is part of my family now.

I genuinely believe that international exchange is crucial to our world and to our individual lives. It gives us perspective that not only helps us to understand our world and the needs and hopes of others, but to see ourselves differently. I have been working with CHI for the past 7 years to help both students and families live meaningful experiences through exchange. I feel so fortunate to have met and gotten to know so many amazing and generous families, many of whom I now count as friends. I keep in touch with students all over the world who carry a piece of New England in their hearts as a result of their year here in the US. I think of all of these amazing individuals as part of a growing world family.

Why host an exchange student?

Hosting is a unique experience for your entire family.

One of the most memorable experiences of your life

Your children will have a brother or sister abroad for life

Positively impact your family and your community

Make a young person’s dream of living in America come true

Learn and cherish new cultures from the convenience of your home

Choose a student who will best fit into your family and lifestyle

CHI's Support Network Near You

Why you can trust CHI

What makes our program special is the emphasis on connection and cultural exchange.

CHI strongly believes in the power of the homestay experience to promote trust and understanding among nations and to build a more peaceful world.

We also truly care about your experience.

Our national field staff provides a strong network of daily support for families and students.

Field staff are knowledgeable and experienced, and they work to supervise your program with efficiency, patience, and enthusiasm.

Cultural Homestay International
We are a U.S. Department of State-designated, CSIET certified Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor.
Join over
1 million people
who had their lives changed meaningfully!

Hosting Stories from Jennifer

Create long-lasting relationships that your family will have for the rest of your lives
Hello, we are the Rainey Family. We had never thought about hosting an exchange student until our son became friends with one at school. He would come to the house and hang out with our son. He was always so pleasant and never minded answering our questions about the program and how he got into this program and everything about his country. My husband and I were amazed, how could someone so young come to another country not knowing anybody and be able to fit in so easily. You see I’m not one that can strike up a conversation with just anybody, it takes effort, but my husband… he has never met a stranger in his life. However, because of our interest, he gave our phone number to Jennifer. Being the wonderful coordinator she is, she called us one night, introduced herself and stuck up a conversation. My husband and I looked at each other and said “I guess we are going to do this”. After the phone call with Jennifer, we looked around and wondered, we live a very ordinary lifestyle and our home is “lived in”, our city not a big city, what do we have to offer a foreign exchange student, we’ve never been out of the USA, we are not world travelers. So, after the worry of not being able to provide enough of an experience for the exchange student, we started to get excited about trying this new adventure. Much to our surprise this endeavor has changed our life… our first exchange student was meant for us. He has made us more open to new experiences. Our family is seeing things in our city that we have always taken for granted. We opened our home to him and he became ours. He was easy going, enjoyed learning everything he could, a great student, a great kid and a great friend to many. I can’t even imagine not knowing him; he continues to be in our lives and us in his. Our next student came into our lives a little differently (he was expected). He had the same enthusiasm for learning and exploring. The love we have for our new “sons” has forever changed our lives. This is the most exciting and beautiful adventure we have ever been on… and it continues to this day.
As a new host family, of course we were skeptical about sharing our home with a stranger. My husband is an introvert, I am an extrovert. We were set in our ways. However, our son was so eager to share our home with a peer and was so curious about other cultures that we relented. When would we get this opportunity again? It was one of the best decisions we’ve made as a family. Our student allowed us to learn not only about another culture, but to learn more about ourselves. As a family, we shared stories about each other for the first time and in ways we hadn't heard before. We listened to and learned to love a whole new style of music. We laughed over funny word translations and pronunciations. We discovered funny things about ourselves, seen through the outside lens of our host student. Our son tried foods he never would have touched and learned how to solve problems with his new sibling. These were valuable skills that he can use later in life. Hosting our student ultimately became a blessing in disguise, even during the pandemic. Ultimately, he has become a part of our family. We are so glad we took the leap.
Academic Year Program
by Cultural Homestay International
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