Can home-schooling parents host a Weiming student?
Yes. However, Weiming USA students must be enrolled at an accredited high school and cannot be home-schooled with their host siblings. The Department of State and ICE requires “all exchange students to be enrolled and participating in a full course of study at an accredited academic institution" as secondary school students.
If I agree to host an exchange student, how long is my commitment?
Your commitment begins the day students arrive in August and end when the student departs for home at the end of the school term.
How can I best prepare to host a student?
Before the exchange begins, learn as much as you can about the student’s culture and the history of China, which will help give you context for your student’s frame of mind. Prepare the student’s room in your home. Think about which aspects of your own culture you would like to share with the student - types of food, entertainment, local history, and places of interest. In addition, feel free to reach out the student and their parents as soon as you have their contact information, so you can get to know them. You may extend a welcome and tell them more about your family. The student may also appreciate your input on what types of clothing to bring or information about your community.
My spouse and I both work, we won’t be able to entertain our student every day. Is this a problem?
In most of our two-parent families, both parents work. We are not looking for families to "entertain" our students. We are looking for families who will share and exchange of ideas, lifestyles, and love with a child from a different part of the world. With their active participation in class and extracurriculars, your student will quickly develop a circle of friends and should not solely depend on your family for fun or socialization.
Will I receive financial compensation? If so, how should this money be utilized?
All families will receive a monthly stipend; the amount will vary by region and school district. The money will be paid at the end of the month to help cover the expenses incurred by the student in the host home, such as: transportation/gas costs, groceries and food expenditures, utility bill fluctuations, and any bedding, toiletries, or other household items that your student requires. Families hosting Weiming USA students solely to earn income, pay debits or bills, etc., and neglecting to provide the expected level of care and support for their host students will not be invited back to host.
Will I need to cover my student’s medical expenses?
No, your student will come with medical insurance so that, in an emergency, the student can be treated as soon as possible.
Will my student speak English?
All students must show a certain level of English proficiency before Weiming USA accepts them into the exchange program. Even though these students have been studying the English language for 5+ years, there might be times when you would like to speak to someone to help your communicated with your student in their native language - don't be afraid to ask Weiming for help!
Can I host more than one student?
Yes, families can host up to three students at a time. Some host families decide they are financially stable enough and meet the requirements to host more than one student, instead of the traditional one. These families have reported the hosting experience is even more rewarding! Both students and their natural parents must approve this arrangement before arrival. Typically no more than two students are allowed for first year hosts.
Am I to be the exchange student’s legal guardian?
No. The exchange student’s natural parents remain legal guardians throughout the program, regardless of the student’s age. Weiming USA takes legal responsibility of any action of the child during the program. Each exchange student will arrive with an Authorization for Emergency Treatment form, signed by their natural parents, so that host parents may secure medical treatment in the case of an emergency.
What if cultural or language problems arise?
Weiming USA Host Family Coordinators have a lot of experience in placing participants with complementary families and we provide extensive support throughout the year. However, if the placement does not work out satisfactorily, or there is an issue that does not seem easily resolved, Weiming will work with the host family to find alternative solutions.