Deadline to place all students with volunteers is Friday, May 18
Every summer San Luis Obispo County plays host to more than 500 foreign students who come to the United States to both improve their English and to become part of an American family. This summer, the North County will host 120 students from Finland, France, Italy and Sweden.
Volunteer host families open their homes to the students, giving them a place to sleep, three meals a day and to feel like part of the family.
“Hosting an exchange student is such a wonderful experience,” said Atascadero resident Linda Napoli, who has hosted for the past three summers and will host two students this summer. “We play board games with them, we take them out to dinner with us, we play outside — there are always tears when we have to say goodbye and we keep in touch from afar.”
The students in the North County program attend English class at Atascadero and go on activities Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also have the opportunity to purchase to optional trips to Los Angeles and San Francisco over two of the weekends they are with host families.
“Traveling the world with kids is hard, so we decided to bring the work to our kids,” said Cristina Pires of San Luis Obispo. “We loved having two students from different parts of the world to give our kids a sense of cultural variety.”
Buses will transport students each weekday from the Five Cities, San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Santa Margarita, South Atascadero, San Miguel, Paso Robles and Templeton to the study center in Atascadero.
Host families are a vital part of the students’ time abroad and the experiences they have. The host families become the students’ home away from home.
The Atascadero program begins on Friday, June 15 when the students arrive to Los Angeles. All students will meet their host families the evening of Saturday, June 16. Students from France and Finland will depart on July 4 and students from France, Italy and Sweden will depart on July 11.
EF knows that host families come in all shapes and sizes and we welcome such diverse families as single-parent households, empty-nesters and families with small or grown children. Each weekday, the students will get English and cultural lessons with activities in the afternoon.
Host families will attend a mandatory host family orientation prior to arrival to help them get ready for their students’ arrival. The first host family orientation will be held on Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Atascadero United Methodist Church, 11605 El Camino Real, Atascadero.
The students are 14 through 17 years old and have some English language skill. They come to this program to improve their English, as well as to experience life in an American family.
For more information, call 805-975-3844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Host family responsibilities:
- A warm friendly welcome
- Provide a clean, comfortable, well-lit room with sufficient heating, a bed or air mattress that can be loaned by EF, ventilation, natural light, storage for clothes and use of a table or desk
- Provide bed linen and towels
- Regular access to the bathroom as per a member of the family
- Transportation to and from the study center or EF’s bus stop
- Breakfast, a packed lunch and dinner
- Access to laundry facilities at least once per week