A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Student exchange program seeks host families

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Greenheart Exchange is currently looking for more families to host students from different parts of the world, empowering them to seek personal growth and fill in cultural gaps.

Greenheart views American host families as citizen ambassadors of the United States as they help their hosted student create lifelong international relationships with local schools and community members. The program has had many families in Nash and Johnston counties host exchange students throughout the years. Its mission is to “create global leaders and promote cultural understanding with a focus on personal development, volunteer service, environmentalism, fair trade and cultural exchange.”

Greenheart has served more than 140,000 students from 84 countries since 1985 and with the help of host families, the program will be able to continue to fulfill its goals for cultural awareness.

A host family has a variety of options to choose from, such as the academic year program, which allows a family to host a student for five or 10 months. If a family chooses from the short-term summer hosting options, the program will focus on volunteerism, language tutoring or cultural immersion. The fall or spring short-term hosting for high schoolers allows the students to have the American high school experience for a few short weeks.

“Host families do not have to have children in the home,” said local coordinator Pauline Stippich. “Some of our families are retirees or empty nesters, singles, single parents, foster parents or childless couples. At Greenheart, we are committed to a positive experience for both the exchange student and the host family. We have several meetings we conduct throughout the year and we have contact with our students and families at least once a month.”

Interested families are encouraged to contact Greenheart as soon as possible to avoid the schools’ application deadline.

“Each year, we have to delay hosting for hundreds of families who would like to host but the school is not able to accept them because the deadline has passed or they have reached their quota of admissions,” Stippich said.

For more information or to apply, fill out an inquiry form at www.greenheartexchange.org or contact Stippich at 919-763-4944 or pstippich.greenheart@gmail.com.