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### Seeking Host Families for Global Student Exchange Program

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – The pursuit of world peace is more than just a cliché or wishful thinking for the International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES). It is their mission to foster cultural appreciation among young individuals by showcasing the richness of diverse cultures. Catherine Johnson, a local coordinator at ICES, is excited about their expansion into Southwest Louisiana.

As an international nonprofit organization, ICES is dedicated to facilitating educational youth exchange programs. With a history spanning over thirty years, they have been instrumental in nurturing global awareness and cross-cultural understanding among American families and exchange students worldwide.

Currently, ICES is seeking families in Southwest Louisiana who are interested in hosting high school foreign exchange students for the upcoming 2024 – 2025 academic year. Typically, exchange students arrive two weeks before the school term commences, reside with host families for ten months, and depart two weeks after the academic year concludes. Host families may benefit from a tax deduction, and certain expenses like extracurricular activities are covered by the students’ families.

For those intrigued by the opportunity, reaching out to ICES is simple. Interested families can either call 337-287-3542 or register online.

Requirements for Host Families

  • Embrace the student as a family member, not a visitor, granting them equal rights and responsibilities within the household.
  • Take on the role of guardians, ensuring the student’s welfare and safety.
  • Allocate a peaceful study area within the home for the student.
  • Provide a furnished room with a window, bed, storage, and a maximum of one same-sex roommate.
  • Offer three daily meals. (Please note: if the student opts to purchase lunch at school instead of bringing it from home, they should cover the expenses)
  • Comply with ICES guidelines and policies, including regular reporting and home visits.
  • Celebrate the student’s milestones and special occasions.
  • Familiarize the student with their support network and how to communicate with family and friends.
  • Host families are not responsible for assisting students with US school applications or transporting them to college-related activities.

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