host an exchange student

Short-Term Student Hosting

Make lasting global connections

When you host an exchange student in your home, you immerse your family in cultural learning while creating a lifelong friend and family member. We facilitate multiple youth programs per year that ask for a 1–3 week hosting commitment. If you have an extra bed and open heart, this is your chance to make global connections, introduce your family to different cultures and influence foreign affairs.

Upcoming Events and Programs

Open World Moldova: Corporate Social Responsibility

Global Ties KC is welcoming Moldovan professionals to Kansas City on a Congressional Open World Program. These participants will review CSR in Kansas City to explore corporations roles in a community for giving and impact.

Heartland Youth Diplomacy Summit – Registration Open

A full-day conference focused on activating students across Missouri and Kansas to consider international issues and develop professional skills to thrive in a globalized world. Participants will walk away better prepared to articulate themselves in professional settings regarding key-global issues the world is facing.

Pan-African Youth Leadership Program: All Stars

Global Ties KC is welcoming a group of "All-Star" PAYLP alumni to Kansas City for a two-week experiential program to strengthen their capacity for community and civic change in sub-Saharan Africa.

Youth Ambassadors Program for Argentina and Chile

The Youth Ambassadors Program brings together high school students and adult mentors from across the Western Hemisphere to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities.

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

Kansas City will be home to 14 entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean, participating in fellowships with local organizations and businesses to foster business and collaboration.

Global Ties KC Annual Fundraiser – Save the Date

Save the date for Thursday, May 25, 2023 for the Global Ties KC Annual Fundraiser. We will gather as a community to foster citizen diplomacy in the heartland together. More information to come. Please contact Sarah Lowderman at slowderman@globaltieskc.org with questions.

Pan-African Youth Leadership Program: Francophone

PAYLP brings together anglophone and francophone high school students and adult mentors for practical leadership and technical skills training centered around an action-planning curriculum & capstone.

How it Works

How to host an exchange student

Most youth programs include activities from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. This leaves time for family on evenings and weekends. You get to decide how to spend that time with your international exchange student, whether that’s attending special events or simply bringing them along for the ride of everyday life.

We ask in-person hosts to provide their student a room with a bed, breakfast, dinner and weekend lunches. For virtual programs we ask hosts to have a stable internet connection, camera and microphone.

Steps to Become a Host for International Exchange Students:

1. Fill out an application found here, then Global Ties KC will follow-up via email.

2. Household members over 18 years of age fill out a background check form.

3. A Global Ties KC staff member will visit you at your home for an in-person meet-and-greet.

4. Hosts attend orientation session and complete a host family profile for Global Ties KC to send to your visitors.

5. Once everything is complete and acceptance has been issued, you receive program & visitor information closer to the start date!

Quotes

Featured Stories

Hosting students and adult mentors from around the globe has enriched our lives beyond measure. We are so grateful to Global Ties, KC for expanding our world of friendships!

Robin Villa

Homestay host

Excited to host an exchange student?

Email Sarah with questions or submit an application!

Apply

All Programs

Home Hospitality

We provide opportunities for you to host international visitors and entertain global leaders in your home.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Citizen Exchange Circle

Citizen Exchange Circles are a way to strengthen relationships between international visitors and Americans they encounter while on their exchange program.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Custom Exchanges

Global Ties KC is uniquely positioned to provide custom international exchanges in the Heartland, through speakers and cultural experiences.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Student Exchanges

We facilitate multiple youth programs per year that ask for a 1–3 week hosting commitment.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Professional Exchanges

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a democratic, free-market economy, and examine practices and experiences that may be adapted back home to address local challenges.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Youth Diplomats Institute

The Youth Diplomats Institute is a nine-month (September to May) real world program that equips teens in Kansas and Missouri with the tools necessary for success in a global society.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Student Explorers

Student Explorers is the at-large group of youth who want first word on cultural opportunities.

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

Internships

Successful applicants will be invited to work with Global Ties KC and will be expected to take on a significant role with the organization

Learn more about Global Ties KC Impact

  • 1.

Past Programs

High school students from Serbia and Bulgaria

We are welcoming high school students from Serbia and Bulgaria! We are currently looking for homestay hosts to welcome them into their homes during the duration of their visit.

Cooperation on Infrastructure for the Indo-Pacific

Welcoming an International Visitor Leadership Program delegation to learn more about city planning, infrastructure development, and public policy processes for funding and developing infrastructure.

High school students from Moldova and Lithuania

We are welcoming 8 high school students from Moldova and Lithuania to learn more about leadership, community and civic engagement! We are currently in the midst of looking for homestay families for this group.

Open World Program Ukraine, featuring a Community Reception

We are welcoming adults from Ukraine who are medical professionals, working to ensure equitable healthcare access in their communities during a time that it has never been more dire.

Virtual Community Connections Program for Belarus

Global Ties KC is working with World Learning to create and implement a virtual Community Connections Program for psychologists and social workers from Belarus. The group of 25 professionals are looking at ways to support women with disabilities to identify and escape situations of abuse.

About Student Exchanges

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the hosts choose their student?

Global Ties KC considers many factors when pairing a household with a student (e.g. gender disbursement, ages, country diversity, pet allergies, interests). You will be informed of the selected student and provided a biography as soon as all hosts are confirmed and biographies are obtained.

What types of activities are offered to students within the program?

Department of State sponsored youth exchange programs take student leaders across the United States to promote mutual understanding and leadership skills and prepare the students to make a difference in their communities. We create fast-paced programs to achieve their individualized goals through content meetings, workshops, site visits, volunteering, high school visits, and much more. Each family receives the final program book that includes the student’s schedule, addresses, contact information, and descriptions of every agenda item for the whole program.

Am I responsible for medical emergencies?

A Global Ties KC staff member will be on call 24/7 during the program. All Department of State sponsored youth exchange participants have medical insurance during the program. Hosts are not responsible for co-pay costs. We also handle any non-emergency medical issues during work hours when we are with the students. For evening/weekend emergencies, our staff will be your first point of contact and work with you to ensure appropriate care for our students.

What are we supposed to do with our students when they aren’t with you?

Whatever you would like! A beautiful part of this program is for the students to immerse themselves in everyday American life. Whether you are a family on the go and take your students with you, or you are a family that stays in for movie nights – we hope students walk away feeling like a member of your household. There is no pressure to go above and beyond to keep them entertained 24/7. Oftentimes, the students appreciate a relaxing evening after a long day of learning.

I am a U.S. high school student. Can I participate?

For some youth programs (typically in the summer), we can invite high school aged host siblings to participate in weekday programming alongside the international participants. This is a great opportunity to become closer with the full group of international students, learn more about other cultures, meet students from across the KC Metro, and gain greater insight into the broader community through our program agenda – while having a lot of fun! All U.S. participants must be a part of a host family and the invitation is not guaranteed for any program.

How many students can I host?

Each family can take up to two visitors in their household. It has been noted that oftentimes (when possible) hosts have a more impactful and easier host experience when they host two visitors together. It helps everyone feel more comfortable quicker. We recognize that it isn’t an option for everyone though, since it requires two separate beds.