Exchange Student Host Parents: 8 FAQs

Can My Exchange Student Shoot A Gun?

It is likely your exchange student will not be able to shoot a gun. Most programs prohibit them from operating heavy machinery and recreational vehicles like ATVs. This is because of their danger and potential liability. If you really want to take your student out hunting or to the shooting range, you should contact your local representative for permission. If they are okay with it, they will have to contact the natural parents for final approval. Your state division of wildlife will also have specific regulations regarding a hunting license or shooting range permits.

Can I Drink In Front Of My Exchange Student?

Although your student is not allowed to drink, you can drink responsibly in front of your student. Feel free to have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer while watching the game. 

Can I Host More Than One Student At A Time?

If you have the space in your home, most programs will allow you to host more than one student at a time. These students, however, cannot be from the same country. Two students from the same country will tend to talk to each other in their native language and bond together which can keep them from socializing at school and making new friends. 

Both My Spouse And I Work Full-Time. Can We Still Host?

Sure you can. Many of the exchange students will also have working parents so they are used to being home alone. Just make sure they can get into the house after school. You might also have to arrange a ride for them to and from school.  

Can We Help Our Exchange Student Financially?

Money can be a very sensitive topic for exchange students. If your student wants to go to the movies and is short on money, you can volunteer to cover the costs. However, most programs discourage your lending or giving the student money on a regular basis. With most programs, the student’s natural parents have agreed to send them a monthly allowance. Therefore, if your student is always low on cash, you should contact your local coordinator. 

Can My Student Stay A Second Year If We Both Agree?

Most exchange students are in the United States on an educational visa known as the J-1. The J-1 Visa permits a foreign exchange student to stay in the United States for one school year only. They can arrive a couple of weeks early and stay a couple of weeks after school is out for graduation or vacation. 

What Happens If My Exchange Student’s Grades Drop?

Foreign students are usually required to maintain a C average. This is no problem for most, but some students might struggle. If your student’s grades fall, you’ll need to help them to figure out why. In most instances, the student is failing or having difficulty because they can’t understand the material or keep track of assignments. This problem can be alleviated by getting a little help from the teacher. If needed, you can also arrange for your student to get a tutor. 

Can A Single Parent Host An Exchange Student?

Yes, a single parent can make a great host mom or dad. Do you have the time and financial resources to care for a foreign exchange student? If you do, you should not let being a single parent keep you from getting involved in an educational or cultural exchange program.