As Mead High School strives to bring diversity into our halls, foreign exchange students provide an opportunity for new perspectives

In order to have this opportunity, MHS needs help from members of Mead’s community who are willing to host exchange students


Having a foreign exchange student in your home allows you to experience a new culture firsthand as well as share yours.

“Our mission is ‘to build international goodwill, cross-cultural understanding, and a peaceful future through educational and cultural exchange,’” says Susan Erker, regional manager from the Aspect Foundation, an “organization which provides affordable study-abroad options for students around the world.” 

The foreign exchange student’s own family is often appreciative of the host family for caring for their child. This opportunity helps promote bonding between cultures, mutual understanding, and global tolerance.

According to Erker, one host dad said the following at the end of last school year: “If I had known how easy this was going to be, I would have done this a long time ago.”

Erker also shared that she feels most families don’t understand how natural it can be to host if they have the right motivation to host and if the connection is there. 

“My family has hosted 16 students over a 24-year span. We will welcome our seventeenth and eighteenth students this year,” Erker stated. 

“I see the impact some of these students have on families, communities, and schools. Some of these students are here on a US State Dept scholarship and they learn skills to take back to their own countries,” said Erker.

They do volunteer work in their own countries to help improve the quality of life for the people in their communities.

As of now, the Aspect Foundation is looking to house three more exchange students. 

Guilherme is a 16-year-old male from Brazil who will be a senior this school year. He enjoys playing guitar, music, writing, playing and watching sports, travel, museums, cinema, spending time with family and friends and likes to participate in soccer, football, ice skating, and swimming. 

“I hope this exchange will help me to discover what I want to do in the future. I know I will have to study a lot, and it doesn’t scare me. I think that this exchange can open my mind to the world we live in. I will have the chance to meet new lifestyles, new places, new people, and the most interesting, new cultures,” explained Guilherme. 

Daniel is a 16-year-old from Spain who will be a junior. He enjoys music, playing the viola and piano, orchestra/band, writing, reading, sports, outdoor activities, and video games. Daniel hopes to “learn the American way of life.” He says, “I think that I’m going to enjoy the experience and to improve my English which is very important here to get a good job. I want to study Nanotechnology in Barcelona University.” 

Lastly, there is Daniela from Spain; she is a photographer and wants to be a part of the newspaper.  We hope to be able to welcome her to our newspaper staff at Mead! 

Carsen Steele, a student at Mead who hosted an exchange student last year, said, “I would say yes, host an exchange student, but get your exchange student at the beginning of the year to have the full experience!” 

Erker informed us that host families are required to provide a bed and three meals a day and make sure the student can get to school while treating the student like a family member. The host families must go through an application process which includes the host family application, host family agreement, a reference and background check, and home visit. There are three orientations throughout the year that host families must attend. One orientation is in July, one is in August/September, and one is in May. 

To start the process of accepting a new student and their culture, reach out to one of our coordinators for more information. 

The next step is to go to the Aspect Foundation’s website. Click on apply to host, and fill out the host family form and confidential background check form. (The listed host family contact information will be sent to the local representative and the family will be contacted.)

On the website there is a wealth of information including public student profiles of inbound students, FAQs, start the application process and also find information about our outbound program

If you’re interested, please reach out! Even if you’re not sure you would like to host, there is no harm in researching and looking into it. 


For more information, call/email Susan Erker at (303)410-7142/[email protected]