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Sponsor an exchange student this year


Last updated 5/22/2015 at 3:24pm

Patrick, from Thailand, has recently returned to his host family in the U.S. Patrick was an exchange student hosted by the McInnes Family in Vista, Calif., and has now returned to attend UCSD.

The McInnes’ are currently hosting two other exchange students, Matt from Thailand and Glen from Korea. Neil, the boys’ host dad, describes his experience as energizing and reviving as his exchange sons never run out of energy. They also love teaching him about their cultures. They have grown to be brothers that love playing sports on camping trips with their family and are very involved in their local high school.

Education First (EF) High School Exchange Year has launched a search for host families in San Diego as part of its annual efforts to welcome international exchange students into communities across the United States. Last year EF connected nearly 3,000 exchange students from around the world with caring host families across the country. The same number is expected for 2015-16.

All EF exchange students are between 15- and 18-years-old, and come from one of thirteen countries across Europe and Asia. The host families provide the kids with room and board. They are expected to treat students as part of the family and not as a guest. The host families do not receive any type of financial gain; it is a program designed for families who do it for the right reasons. Though, the host families are eligible to receive a tax deduction on their tax return. Students live in the U.S. for one or two semesters and attend the local high school. The students cover travel expenses, health insurance, school expenses, cell phone, and spending money.

“Every exchange student we’ve welcomed into our home is now like a member of the family,” said Dawn Brasch, whose family is currently hosting Martin from Sweden. “It’s such a wonderful experience for everyone — our family, the exchange students, our local high school, and really the whole community.”

Families in San Diego County that are interested in learning more about hosting an exchange student through EF can contact their local coordinator Neil McInnes at 760-716-1731 or  or visit for more information.

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