What makes a good host family?

Our host families are volunteers, and represent the diversity of American culture – with varied economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Among those who truly enjoy the exchange experience are parents looking to give their families a glimpse of the world and introduce them to new customs and cultures, without having to travel the globe.

Do I have to have a teenage son or daughter to be a host?

No. You don't have to have a teenager to be a host. Many of our host families have young children, adult children or no children.

What are the expectations of being a host family?

In addition to providing room and board, host families are expected to treat their student as a member of the family, not as a guest. By sharing everyday experiences and events, such as birthday parties, holiday traditions, evening meals, sporting events, movies and even household chores, host families are able to give their exchange student a true American experience.

What if it does not work out?

If problems arise between the host family and student, the local coordinator is there to provide support. Full-time staff is dedicated to assisting families, students and our coordinators with any questions or challenges that come up during the exchange. If it turns out that differences cannot be resolved, CYE will help the student transition to a new home. We are committed to ensuring that both students and host families have a positive exchange experience.

My family isn't a "traditional" family, is it still possible to host?

HOST FAMILIES may include single parent households, parents with adult children and families with small children.

Am I the student's legal guardian?

Yes, but the natural parents retain all legal liability for the student. The host family will be issued guardianship papers which allow you to make decisions in the absence of the natural parent.

Can home-schoolers host CYE students?

Yes. However, CYE exchange students must be enrolled at an accredited high school and cannot be home-schooled with their host siblings. U.S. Department of State regulations "require all exchange students to be enrolled and participating in a full course of study at an accredited academic institution" as secondary school students.

Can we travel with our CYE student?

CYE students are expected to travel with host families like they were a family member, including holiday travel. Additional travel with family, friends, and organizations (such as school, church, and athletic teams) is permitted as the host family approves and ALWAYS under the condition that there is responsible adult supervision.
For information purposes only, CYE requests to be notified of all travel of the program participant.

Can I host social events for other CYE students and their host families?

Yes, CYE would like to encourage host families to get to know each other. However, we would like to limit all German-German contact as much as possible. Historically we have experienced, German-German contact hinders the transitioning of CYE students into the host family and local culture. When the students are together, we request that they only speak in English and are involved in an activity with American teenagers.

How should the German student address the host parents?

This depends on the host parents. Some parents like the formal Mr. and Mrs… and others like to be called by their first names. At first, it is awkward for the German student to know, so please let them know which you prefer.