Saline Area Schools is looking for local families willing and able to host exchange students from China for the upcoming school year.
The school district has partnered with BCC International Education Group, a Troy-based company that helps districts with exchange programs, to bring five Chinese students to Saline High School for the 2015-16 school year.
In the spring, Saline High School principal Dr. Julie Helber visited a Chinese school and inspected the program before agreeing to move forward. On top of the normal per-pupil funding from the state, the district will receive $10,000 per student from BCC International. While the district is glad to receive extra money, the primary purpose of the exchange is educational.
“It’s an opportunity to provide a cultural experience, not only for the students coming over. It provides an opportunity for kids in our district to be exposed to Chinese culture,” Graden said, adding that the program may lead to Saline student studying in China one day. “Culturally, socially and economically, the impact China has on the world is massive. It’s a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of China for our students.”
Below is an FAQ for people who might consider playing host to a student:
Q1: Are funds provided to families to help cover miscellaneous expenses?
A1: Yes, up to $125/week/student is provided for the duration of the student’s expected stay to help reimburse a family for the cost of food, transportation, etc.
Q2: What is the duration of a student’s stay with a host family?
A2: The academic year plus a week prior to the start of the school year.
Q3: What are the requirements for identification and selection of a host family?
A3: Families must complete an application for hosting, have a background check on any person 18 years or older living in the household, open their home for a site-visit and attend an orientation session.
Q4: What kinds of accommodations are expected for each host family to provide?
A4: Families are asked to at least provide one bed per child in a shared bedroom (of up to 2 children maximum of the same gender and similar age), a desk and bureau/closet for belongings. Transportation to/from activities may be required for after school activities, doctor’s visits, etc.
Q5: What is the maximum number of students who can stay in a host family?
A5: Ideally, 1-2 students per family although, if there are accommodations as outlined in A4 a family may host up to 4 students.