Countywide : Volunteer Hosts Needed for Exchange Students


Volunteers are needed by Friday to host 27 exchange students for the upcoming school year.

The American Scandinavian Student Exchange already has placed 48 students but is still looking for homes for the remaining 27, most of whom are boys, said program coordinator Steve Halvorson

The 16- to 18-year-old students are from Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Spain and Switzerland. They are screened and sponsored by ASSE, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Swedish and Finnish departments of education and the Canadian Provincial Ministries of Education, Halvorson said.

Students arrive in late August before school begins and leave in June. They are fully insured through their home countries, bring their own spending money and expect to bear their share of household responsibilities, Halvorson said.


“They’re not problem kids whom parents want to get out of their hair for a year,” Halvorson said. “They’re young, they’re bright, they’re adventurous, they want to learn.”

Anyone interested in serving as a host can look at the students’ portfolios, which include extensive biographical data, teachers’ evaluations, autobiographies and family photos. For more information, call Steve or Susie Halvorson at (714) 771-0881 or (714) 497-6121.

The experience for hosts and exchange students is “really rewarding,” Halvorson said.

“When the kids are leaving and the tears are flowing, then you know it was a good experience. It can be a really rewarding experience.”