Hosting International Guests

Share our Culture.
Learn about others.
Connect your Family to the World!

Since 2011, more than 200 TVS students and faculty have hosted 300+ international students, teachers, musicians, and assistant teachers in their homes and on campus. Guests have come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, England, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In 2018-19, we hosted students and student teachers from Australia (3), Belgium (1), China (7), Denmark (2), Germany (6), Mexico (15), the Netherlands (1), and Switzerland (1). In 2019-20, we expect to host guests from Australia (4), China (8), Denmark (2), Germany (7), Mexico (9), and Scotland (4).

ALL TVS FAMILIES are invited to host—
Lower, Middle, Upper, and alumni families!

INterested in hosting?

Why Host?

Here’s what some TVS students and parents have said about what they got from hosting student guests. Their comments are quoted directly from anonymous surveys.

Hosting is fun!

“It is an experience that is very rich. We had lots of laughs and learned so much about each other and our cultures.”

“Trying to communicate with each other was very fun and entertaining!

Meet great people; make great friends…

Our guest was such an outstanding young man. He was a great example of cheerfulness, graciousness, and diligence.”

“[Our guest] was very polite, respectful and organized. ... He was very enthusiastic about trying new things and was very appreciative. A sweet boy who we would welcome back anytime.”

We adored her and I did not anticipate how devastating it would be when she left.”

“It’s a chance to make a close friend or new ‘family member’ from a different part of the world…”

“My son and one of the Japanese boys talk via email/Skype. I am sure they will be lifelong friends.

“This group of Toluca students represented their school and their country amazingly well. They were courteous and gracious. They were eager to learn about our culture and equally as enthusiastic to teach us about theirs!”

“I never expected my husband, my daughter or me to become as close to the Mexican students as we did.”

You will learn so much about your guests and their culture…

“Family, Friendships, good food and Fellowship are essential characteristics in the Mexican culture.”

“When it came to learning, my favorite part was when she gave us a presentation on her life, family and home. Because she had rehearsed it a little we could understand it well and the photos were great. Just getting a snapshot of her life like that was wonderful.”

By learning about others, we learn about ourselves as well, and we grow…

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our family to get an insight into and appreciation of the Japanese culture. It also perhaps gave us a greater appreciation for our American culture.”

“Made us think about what we love about our life here and want to share."

“Bonding with a new member of the family and adjusting to having an older brother around and losing top-dog position all offered growing experiences.”

Hosting is broadening the TVS community’s horizons and opening our minds and hearts…

“I think that by bringing students from other countries to TVS we are expanding our students’ vision for themselves in the world.”

“Any time we have exchanges with other cultures, it makes our own worldview bigger. We make new friends, which puts a human face on another country, possibly another belief system, that makes it seem less foreign because it is seen through our new friend's eyes. We're all families who live different flavors of life--but it becomes very personal when our children are folded into another family in another country. Even if a brief exposure, it affects for a lifetime.

“Loved connecting my kids to another culture - priceless! Great for TVS to operationalize the values we preach about valuing diversity and experience.”

“Great exposure for our children to think more globally and understand and accept different cultures.”

“Hosting students from around the world at TVS and host families opens up the school and families for different cultures and languages. It is important for our children to be exposed to such an international environment.”

“There is tremendous value in having our school community – students, faculty, staff, parents, etc. –

exposed to different cultures, ideas, traditions, languages. Sometimes it may validate our preconceptions, but, more often than not, I think it shows how limited we are in our thinking. Regardless, it broadens our horizons!

Hosting a guest can bring your family and the TVS community closer together…

“Hosting brought our family closer together as we enjoyed finding ways to make our guest feel at home and a part of our family.”

“Besides bringing families together for the various events related to the exchange students, I felt proud that TVS was participating in the program. I was able to get to know several families I did not know before and take part in a program that brought ‘the world’ to our school.

Hosting can dispel stereotypes and misconceptions…

“I learned that, despite the violence that plagues many parts of Mexico, the students and their families love the many things their citizenship has to offer including the food, music, educational opportunities, history, climate, etc...”

“It is human nature to dislike what is different, but this experience set a tone for our kids that different is interesting, exciting, and a learning opportunity.”

You’ll find we have more in common than at first glance…

Kids are kids no matter their background!

“We learned that although many of our customs are different, our core values and beliefs are basically the same. We share many things in common.”

This Year’s Hosting Opportunities

Below is a list of possible Hosting Opportunities for 2019-20. Browse the links on this page to learn more about hosting in general, or contact Dr. Roemer (EMAIL HERE) to talk much more about how incredible these experiences can be for your family!

FALL 2019:

1. HOSTS FOUND! (but, we will do this again next year!) WHO: 6 Upper School students & 1 teacher
FROM: Trier, GERMANY (Auguste Viktoria Gymnasium, TVS partner school)
WHEN: Oct. 6-20 (2 weeks)
MORE: There are 2 options to host:

  • HOST ONLY--all ages (CLICK HERE) or
  • 1:1 Exchange--grades 9-11--host Oct 6-20, then travel to Trier to stay with your guest from approx. May 25 - June 7 (APPLY HERE)

2. WHO: 8 Upper School students & 1 teacher (all ages can apply to host) HOSTS STILL NEEDED!
FROM: Toluca & Metepec, MEXICO (Tec de Monterrey, TVS partner school)
WHEN: Approx. Nov 23 - Dec 8 (just 2 weeks**updated); including Thanksgiving; CLICK HERE to host!

Contact Dr. Roemer today for more info!

SPRING 2020:

3. WHO: 1 Danish Assistant Teacher (female; 21 years old; all ages can host)
FROM: Esbjerg, DENMARK (University of Copenhagen-SYD)
WHEN: Approx. Jan 4 - Feb 15 (6 weeks; can be split by two families); CLICK HERE to volunteer to host!
: International Assistant Teachers pay their host families $100/week to offset living expenses

4. WHO: 2 Danish Assistant Teachers (female; host 1 or both; 21 years old; all ages can host)
FROM: Aarhus, DENMARK (VIA University)
WHEN: Approx. Jan. 25 - March 7 (6 weeks; can be split by two families); CLICK HERE to volunteer to host!
: International Assistant Teachers pay their host families $100/week to offset living expenses

5. HOST FOUND! WHO: 1 Swiss Assistant Teacher (male; 27 years old; all ages can host)
FROM: Zürich, SWITZERLAND (Zurich University of Teacher Education)
WHEN: Approx. Jan. 11 - Feb 9 (4 weeks); CLICK HERE to volunteer to host!
MORE: International Assistant Teachers pay their host families $100/week to offset living expenses

6. WHO: 6-10 Chinese students (MS & US) and 1 teacher; all ages can host
FROM: Beijing, CHINA (Kaiwen Academy, TVS partner school)
WHEN: Approx. Feb 2-15 (2 weeks); CLICK HERE to volunteer to host!

7. WHAT: 1:1 Exchange (Host, then travel & be hosted!)
WHO: 2-5 9th/10th graders
FROM: Mackay, AUSTRALIA (Whitsunday Anglican School, TVS partner school)
WHEN: Host April/May (3-4 weeks); travel to Mackay in July (3-4 weeks) and be hosted by your April guest and Whitsunday Anglican School
APPLY HERE (students)

8. WHAT: 1:1 Girls Exchange (Host, then travel & be hosted!)
WHO: 2-4 female 8th graders
FROM: Edinburgh, SCOTLAND (St. George's School for Girls, TVS partner school)
WHEN: Host April/May (3 weeks); travel to Edinburgh approx. May 25 - June 14 (3 weeks) and be hosted by your April guest and St. George's School for Girls
APPLY HERE (students)


Tips about hosting

Our guests mostly need a bed to sleep in (students ages 14-18 don’t need their own rooms, necessarily; young adults and adults will need their own rooms), breakfasts and dinners with the family, and a family who’s interested in sharing our culture and learning about theirs.

You can do what you normally do—you will just be sharing it with one more person!


  • Let your guest see what “normal” life is like in your home.
  • Include your guest in household chores and rules to make her or him feel part of the family (especially after a few days).
  • Avoid taking guests out to eat food from their country (unless they specifically request it).
  • Play board or video games with them—with the whole family, if possible.
  • Help them adjust to our time zone and schedule by encouraging them to go to sleep and wake at healthy times (about 8 hours of sleep per night).
  • Try to learn some phrases/words in their language—they will feel honored and respected!
  • Feel free to connect with the other TVS host families and do activities together.
  • Downtime is fine. Don’t feel that you have to “entertain” your guest constantly.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Global Initiatives or their Chaperone with questions, to share fun stories and pictures, or to report issues.


Can I host more than one guest at a time?

Absolutely! If you have the space, hosting two can be a great arrangement for your family and for the guests.

Can I host more than one guest in a year?

Absolutely! You will learn so much more about the world when you host people from different cultures. We have some TVS families who have hosted more than four times already!

What does a normal day look like?

On school days, you will take your guest(s) (students and adults) to school with your child/ren. Student guests will go to classes with a TVS student close in age or participate in on- or off-campus activities organized by the Global Initiatives Director (host students the same age as their guests will be invited to participate in some of these activities); International Assistant Teachers will observe or teach classes or do independent research on campus.

Generally, your guest(s) will return to TVS from off-campus activities by 4PM and be ready to return home with your family after school. Most evenings, you will be free to do whatever your family normally does (including afterschool activities/lessons/homework/etc.).

Is it better to host for longer or shorter stays?

The benefits of hosting for 4 or more weeks is that you really get to know your guest well (he or she will not be a “guest” when it is time to leave), and it is more likely that you will become lifelong friends or “family.” Families looking to grow close to an international guest should consider hosting for longer periods, especially our full-time international students who need homes for 10 months each year.

For other families, just getting a “taste” of what hosting is like may be better. You can still form close bonds, but if your family schedule is incredibly tight or you are new to hosting, short visits might be just right.

Can I leave my guest at home without an adult?

Minor guests (ages 18 and younger) should always have an adult present at home and should not be dropped off places without a host adult nearby. However, adult guests (Assistant Teachers and Teachers) can be home alone (including overnight), if you are comfortable with that arrangement.

What costs should I expect?

Student guest activities are covered by Global Initiatives or their schools. Lunches at TVS are covered for all guests by Global Initiatives or their schools. Meals with your family will be covered by you (including meals at restaurants, if you choose to eat out).

Assistant Teachers have longer stays (4-6 weeks) and will offer stipends of approximately $100 per week. Optional activities that you decide to do with your guest(s) should be covered by you.

What meals am I expected to make?

Most days, your guest(s) will need breakfast and dinner. Global Initiatives will cover their lunches on school days. If you take your guest(s) to dinner, it is best to pay for them (but you can limit what they buy—just as you might your own children).

What if my home isn’t big or fancy enough to host?

Part of the experience for our guests is experiencing life in the US, and no two families or homes are alike. If you have an extra bed and your family is interested in hosting, give it a try!

What if we don’t speak their language?

No problem! Almost all of our guests are here (in part) to improve their English, but some of them are quite fluent already (including our guests from China, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland). Even if they don’t speak much English, your family will get good at charades (and at Google Translate).

What do we do on the weekends?

With student guests, there might be activities planned with the group that are optional for your child/family. We also intentionally give “free time with host families,” and you are free to do what you want to do or “normally” do on weekends—just include your guest! Do not feel that you need to “entertain” your guests all the time, especially Assistant Teachers who are here for four weeks or longer.

What if our guest gets ill/injured or there is a problem at school or home?

Throughout the entire hosting experience and before their arrival, the Director of Global Initiatives will be your support 24/7 for troubleshooting illnesses/injuries, conflicts at home or school, etc. In the case of students, their teacher-chaperones will also be a constant support for you and the guests.

If a host family or guest becomes very uncomfortable, we will work with the guest and family to find a new home for the guest in a way that is best for all involved.