Host families hard to find as foreign exchange students come to Stamford

STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Foreign exchange students are due to come to Stamford for school, but they might not be able to because there aren’t enough volunteer families to house them all.

“We’ve been in operation since 1981. We’ve never not placed a student,” said Melanie French, Executive Director of the American Institute of Foreign Study.

The program averages close to 800 students every year. The majority of students needing placement are teenagers from Germany who hope to come to learn more about the United States.

French says hosting a foreign exchange student can also be beneficial for the American family as well. “It’s actually a form of public diplomacy. Bringing theses students in, they learn more about America and get a real positive and interesting view into American life. Then we also learn more about other cultures.”

All students in the program are fluent in English and must maintain a C-plus grade average to be eligible.

What they don’t have is a family willing to welcome them into their home.

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