Being a Host Family to an Exchange Youth through the Lions Youth Camps and Exchange (YCE) Program is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience for both you and the young person you host. You’ll share in each other’s culture through conversations and activities, and will forge a bond that may last a lifetime.
Here are five frequently-asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Host Family:
1. What is the YCE Program?
YCE does not involve tourism, academic study or employment. Instead, young people are encouraged to use their travel opportunities to share their cultures while experiencing new ones. The YCE Program is comprised of two parts: international exchanges and international camps.
2. What are the main responsibilities of a Host Family?
As a Host Family, you will share your lifestyle and culture with the visiting youth, including them in all your family activities. You should plan an assortment of cultural activities that may include, but are not limited to, museums, nature parks or centers, local tours, sports, musical events, etc.
3. What is the financial responsibility of a Host Family?
A Host Family is expected to provide room and board for the exchange youth, any and all transportation during the youth’s exchange with the exception of international camp, and payment for any cultural activities that you plan. The local YCE chairperson will be able to provide you with more details about what kind of financial responsibility is expected of a Host Family.
4. How long will the Exchange Youth stay?
The Host Family part of the YCE Program can last anywhere between two and six weeks. We recommend that you speak with your local YCE chairperson to determine what the best situation is for your schedule and their programmatic needs.
5. Is a Host Family able to meet the Exchange Youth before they arrive?
It is highly encouraged that you initiate correspondence with the young person once you have been matched. Correspondence may include letters, pictures and anything else you would like to share with the youth about your life, your family and your home.
Erica Roche is a program development specialist for Lions Clubs International.