Exchange students having trouble finding hosts

GENESEE COUNTY — Foreign exchange students signed up to come to Genesee County schools may have to be turned away for the 2012-2013 school year.

Rod Kelsey has been volunteering for the program STS Foundation, a nonprofit organization that matches foreign exchange students with families, since 1978. He said this year has been exceptionally difficult for exchange students to be placed for 2012-2013.

“We are looking for families who will open up their hearts and their homes to help one of these kids,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey said it has been more difficult to find host families in the past few years.

Students from Europe, Asia and South America are set to come to Genesee County, but with just weeks to go before the start of the school year do not have host families lined-up.

According to the website for the STS Foundation, students are chosen by a demonstration of “academic interest and achievement, good character, adaptability and a satisfactory command of the English language.”

The program is for 10 months out of the year beginning at the end of this August.

Each student has their own medical insurance and is required to have their own spending money.

Kelsey said the only requirements of the host family are to provide three meals a day and a bed to sleep in. The student can share a bedroom.

According to Kelsey, this program is important because it gives students from other countries the experience to live with an American family in turn teaching the student the American way of life.

For more information on volunteering as a host family for STS foundation, please contact Rod Kelsey at 810-736- 8891 or reach him at his e-mail

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