By: Kelsey Kirkendall
Originally Published: April 5, 2013
This next school year, Temple Christian School plans to broaden its horizons by bringing in more foreign exchange students. Temple will be partnering with ASSE International, a program that connects students and host families from around the world. Although originally started in Sweden, the program now operates worldwide.
“I think the foreign exchange program benefits both the school as well as the students,” said Mrs. Darlene Cummerow, an independent foreign exchange coordinator for the state of Ohio who will be bringing the program to Temple this fall. “The school receives tuition money for the student and more importantly has the opportunity to evangelize to the students. The students have the chance to come to America and have an American experience. The most important reason for them is to learn English, which will help them get employment in their country.”
The number of students participating in the program is growing. In 2011-2012 twenty-six students participated, and in 2012-2013 thirty students participated in Ohio. Students have come from over 27 countries, and the program is open to allowing students from the U.S. to go overseas as well. Mrs. Cummerow hopes to bring fifteen to twenty students to Temple next year.
Students join the program for various reasons. Mrs. Cummerow says that the main reason students participate is to learn English, and the second reason is to experience American culture. “When students come to America, they are coming with that “High School Musical” experience. They usually are disappointed when the size of the school is not big, but by the end of the year, they are happy with their experience and love their host families.”
Host families will be needed this fall for the students who wish to come to Temple. There are several steps to becoming a host family. “Host families fill out an application. Things considered are income, location from school, pictures of the home, references, and background checks on any member over 18 years of age,” Mrs. Cummerow commented.
If families have an interest in hosting a foreign student, they are encouraged to check the program out as soon as possible so that they can meet their student. Students in the program are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are expected to participate in their share of household jobs as well as in the host family’s normal activities.
Mrs. Cummerow stated, “By a family opening up their home, they are giving the student the opportunity to experience an American family. Host families will have a lifelong friend.”
If you would like to learn more about the foreign exchange program or are interested in becoming a host family, please contact Mrs. Darlene Cummerow at 419-283-3282 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.