Foreign Exchange Program Seeks Local Host Families

July 8, 2014

A local organization that bridges that gap between families and foreign exchange students is faced with a looming deadline. They still need at least 15 families that would like to host an international student, and have only 2 weeks to find them.

Suzanne Coffey spends most of her summer on the phone, responding to emails and searching for families that are interested in hosting an international student.

"They do it because that cultural experience that their kids get is priceless," says Coffey.

Coffey is the regional director of the Face the World International Exchange program, and will place over 120 students with families throughout Central Virginia.

"You become the ambassador in your own country and you bring that student in and it's like instead of going into the mission field, you actually bring your mission field home to you," says Coffey.

But with just two weeks until the big deadline she's looking for at least 15 more families to host a high school student.

"In Charlottesville we are looking for 3 [students] for Charlottesville High School and in Louisa for at least 5 to 6, one more in Nelson County," says Coffey.

Even with the looming deadline, and non-stop search for host families, Coffey says it’s all worth it.

"Knowing that our kids in the U.S. have the ability to interact with other kids from other cultures and share what we have here with what they have there, and you know make both kids more well-rounded."

Face the World is a volunteer program, but each family receives a $50 tax deduction per month to help with the costs.

The program is seeking host families for Madison County High School, Orange County High School, Charlottesville High School, Nelson County High School, Culpeper County High School and more.

To learn more information about the organization, click on the link on the side of the page. For information on how to become a host family contact Coffey at, or 434-825-4362.

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