AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A local international exchange student organization is seeing growth and is looking for host families.
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is seeing more foreign exchange students coming to our area for high school education.
This year, our local CIEE branch has 15 students enrolled but with more coming for the new school year, our area is in need of about 10 to 15 host families.
"We are looking for families for August, right now we have 15 that are spread throughout the Panhandle of Texas and they are from several different countries," said Brenda Davis, CIEE Team Leader. "So, we are now looking for families for our August students and we are doing our placements between now and then."
CIEE works with 55 different countries to bring over 1,000 students to study in the United States each year.
Locally, host parents can be anywhere from 125 miles outside of the Amarillo and Canyon area.
To become a host family or parent, you must be able to provide for the child without assistance and be at least 25 years old.
"They have to be a family that can provide meals for the students and can get him or her to their activities because it is like having another family member home," said Davis.
The students a part of this program are 15 to 18 years old and can stay with a host family for as long as a year or less.
Each student will be able to speak English and while in the U.S. must maintain a C plus grade average.
Hosting a student comes at little cost, as the students come with their own spending money and health insurance.
The duty of a host parent is to give a loving home, transportation, food and a bed to sleep in.
"Once the students get here they love Texas, they just love the down to earth people and the open hearts that we have here," said Davis.
CIEE is now taking applications for interested host families.
To qualify you will go through a background check and a home interview.
For more information you can visit the CIEE website.