From left, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Yvette Gonzalez, Center for Cultural Interchange local coordinator, Maksim Ionin, a student from Russia currently enrolled at Parker School, and Debi Motta, a host mom, visit the County Building in Hilo. Photo courtesy of The Center for Cultural Interchange for NHN
The Center for Cultural Interchange, the nonprofit student exchange organization, seeks volunteer host families to host exchange students for the 2013-2014 school year. Each year, CCI provides more than 1,000 exchange students from over 50 countries like Germany, Belgium, Taiwan Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Brazil, France and China among others. They have the opportunity to study in local public high schools for a five-month semester or a 10-month academic high school year.
Volunteer host families come from varied economic, religious and racial backgrounds and include working parents, empty nesters, singles and single parents. They are to provide:
•Open communication, encouragement, patience and sound advice
.A separate bed, which can be in a shared room with a host sibling of
similar age and same gender, and a quiet place to study
•Three daily meals
•Treatment as a member of the family, which may include household rules, responsibilities and privileges. Students have their own accident and health insurance and bring their own spending money. Students are encouraged to participate in school-sponsored activities, community service and environmental programs. CCI provides regular communication and support to both host families and students. Host family applications are being accepted now through Aug. 15.