Groups Assist Foreign Exchange Student Arrangements

By: 
Jerry Curry, Staff Writer

Anna Krimm from Mainz, Germany has been attending East Washington High School.

There are several groups that assist with high school exchange students in the United States. Participating students come from countries all over the world. Information on three agencies that arrange for exchange students in the southern Indiana region follows.

Anne Garner Offutt, coordinator for C.I.E.E., is excited to provide information. C.I.E.E. stands for Council on International Education Exchange. Offutt lives in New Albany. She has placed students in several local high schools in the greater Louisville area. Presently Offutt’s seventeen-year-old daughter is in Japan.
In Washington County, she has placed a sixteen-year-old female from Brazil in West Washington High School. Offutt says small schools are usually better.

Many come with the image the students see on TV shows like “High School.”

Offutt hosted one student and felt badly when she placed the student in the smallest bedroom. She was surprised when the student said, “I get this whole room to myself.”  

Before coming to the U.S., the students must past a minimum English test.

There are approximately four hundred students waiting for a host home. Many apply, but only 3% are able to participate. The foreign students are eager to learn and come fully prepared. The students get $125 from the American Council and must have medical insurance.

Senator Richard Lugar started a fully funded program for foreign exchange students from Muslin countries.  

Offutt also said there are two types of visas in the student program that they deal with.  A J-1 visa is for participation in an exchange program, including high school and universities. It is usually good for one year. The other is a F-1 Visa which allows the student to study at an accredited college or to study English at an English language institute for a longer period.

Offutt would love to place more foreign students in the Salem area. She can be reached on Facebook or call 502-592-3204. The exchange program is ideal for the student and host to learn about the other countries.

The second group is I.E. This stands for International Experience. The coordinator is Veronica Lindley, a teacher at East Washington High School and a Salem resident.

She has placed Anna Krimm from Mainz, Germany with a family in Pekin. Anna is 16 years old and in the 10th grade at East Washington High School. I spoke with her on the phone, and she can speak very good English. When asked how she learned it, she said in school, and her friends speak English together.  Her favorite subject is math.

Exchange students experience all of the events an American student has including prom, team sports and band. In fact, Anna recently won a silver award at a state band solo and ensemble contest. She won with a solo performance on the flute. She plans to have a career in mathematics or science research.

The third group is CETUSA, this stands for Council for Educational Travel U.S.A. The coordinator for this group is Diane Yows of Fishers, IN. She is in charge of the state of Indiana. Presently she has no students in Washington County, but has placed a student in Jeffersonville who goes to Jeffersonville High School.

All three groups have energetic coordinators, who are ready to talk with local residents about being a host family. Students come with insurance and spending money. All must pass a minimum English test. All a host does is provide a nice home and extra plate at the table. The students are usually here for one year on the J1 visa.

Being a host is pretty simple. You do not have to have children in high school, can be single parent etc. The requirement is providing a room, bed and a caring spirit. The agencies can place students anywhere that there is a willing host. These students tend to be outgoing over-achievers.

The best way to contact the agencies is on their Facebook pages, where you can also take a look at the students who are interested in residing in another country.

As a host you and your student will learn customs of another country and build lasting friendships.

 

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