A year of teenager
March 19, 2015 10:04 PM   Subscribe

What steps would I need to take in order to have a foreign exchange student for a year? I already know the student, so I probably wouldn't have reason to go through a matching agency.

A few years ago, I spent some time teaching English in the Republic of Georgia. My host family really wanted me to take their awesome kid back to the states with me, and the language barrier didn't allowme to explain very well that I was not in a position to do so. I will be in a couple of years, and she'll be in probably 11th grade by then.

Do I just invite her, she gets a student visa, catches a plane, flies over and starts school? Where can I find resources on this process?
posted by aniola to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might want to ask an organization that does this sort of thing if they can walk you through the process. Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, churches?
posted by arcticwoman at 4:33 AM on March 20, 2015

If you just do this informally, it will likely be expensive. In my part of Canada, schooling for a year for an international student is about $10000. Seconding talking to people who do exchanges, Rotary would be my first stop. Otherwise, talk to the potential school.
posted by ssg at 5:03 AM on March 20, 2015

My family has taken in a few exchange students over the years - including a few that were not part of any official program, just friends of the family.

First thing you should, before doing anything yourself is invite her. I mean, make sure she wants to come before doing leg work. Besides that, often times, the student in the foreign nation knows what to do better than you. Her school might have a program set up, or her neighbor might have done it already. First step, check with her and her family - and see what resources they have for getting this done.

Second step, which they absolutely can not do without help on the ground in America, find her a school. Get her enrolled in the local high school. Go to the school office, and figure out what documents she needs, and get it sorted out. In the United States, if she gets a visa to study here, she will not be charged a fee for the public school.

But, you need to start by inviting her, and then seeing what resources she has to make it happen.
posted by Flood at 5:12 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's the DHS website that describes the basics of the visa process.

Also, at the high school level, even visa holders have to PAY for public school education and are restricted to 1 year.
posted by limagringo at 5:28 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

One of my friends does this for a Chinese teenager. The cost for the teen to go to the local high school was ridiculous, so the teen goes to a private school instead. She is on a different type of VISA, so she has been able to attend all of her high school years here in GA. (Teen heads home for summers.)

The mom also sent the teen with the equivalent of several thousand dollars for the teen's expenses during the year. My friend spend more than is provided, but it's a labor of love.
posted by heathrowga at 3:34 PM on March 20, 2015

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