We are looking for families to host a student for 6 weeks:
Dec 9, 2023 – Jan 20, 2024
These dates are approximate
Check out all of the information below or
Email the Host Program Coordinators, Jani or Jennifer,
with your questions or for more information.
Email: [email protected]
6-Week Hosting Program Information
Costa Rican high school students, who have been carefully and competitively selected to represent their communities and country, will be in Oregon & S.W. Washington for six weeks. Each student lives with a family and attends high school with their host sibling. Host families must have a high school student to apply, and have school approval. English speaking chaperones travel with the students and regularly check in and provide support as needed.
Families will host a Costa Rican student for 6 weeks from December 9, 2023 – January 20, 2024
WHY HOST A COSTA RICAN HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENT?
- To provide an immersion experience and develop conversational skills in English
- To promote international understanding/friendship between people of Oregon and Costa Rica
- To provide students from both countries with the broadening experience of other cultures
- To learn about our summer travel opportunity to Costa Rica available for Oregon students
HOW TO APPLY
All hosting families must have a high school student in the household. If you and your family are interested in hosting a Costa Rican student, start by completing a host family application linked below in STEP 1.
STEP 1 – FILL OUT APPLICATION
The hosting application has three sections and can be completed online. Parents and students should work together to complete it.
Link to Hosting Application.
STEP 2 – PROVIDE CONFIDENTIAL REFERENCES
Two confidential references need to be submitted using the form below.
Please have this form completed by two of the following persons who are acquainted with you: minister, employer, a family friend, high school principal, counselor, or teacher. To share the link to the Confidential Reference form, simply copy and paste the following address to the person required to complete the form. References may not be completed by relatives. Link to Confidential Reference Form
STEP 3 – SCHOOL PERMISSION FORM
If there are any issues with this application, please contact the Hosting Coordinator at:
STEP 4 – HOME VISIT
You will receive an email to arrange for a home visit. Costa Rican students need to have their own bed, but they may share a bedroom. After the home visit you will be notified of your status.
STEP 5 – ZOOM ORIENTATION
All host families will attend a Zoom Orientation to go over the logistics ad expectations of hosting. At this time you will also get to virtually meet the chaperones. After attending the orientation your Costa Rican student profile will be emailed to you. Families should not contact the student in any way, including social media, until they have arrived in Oregon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I host with only one parent?
A. Absolutely. Costa Rican students come expecting to experience a variety of family lifestyles in Oregon/Washington.
Q. Can the Costa Rican student share a bedroom?
A. Yes, the student must have their own bed but it is perfectly acceptable to share a room with a family member of the same gender.
Q. Does our family have to speak Spanish?
A. No! The Costa Rican student comes to Oregon/Washington to improve English skills.
Q. Do I have to be taking Spanish to host?
Q. Is it expensive to host?
A. Your family is expected to provide room and board for the Costa Rican student. The student brings money for his/her incidental expenses.
Q. What happens if the Costa Rican student gets sick?
A. Costa Rican students come to Oregon/Washington with their own medical insurance.
Q. Do we have to cook special food?
A. No. Let the Costa Rican student experience your normal mealtime routines.
Q. What does the Costa Rican student do about high school?
A. The student attends high school with his/her host brother/sister, but does not enroll in classes.
Q. What happens if we have questions?
A. The two Costa Rican chaperones accompanying the students are in Oregon/Washington to assist host families and students. The Oregon/Washington Program Coordinator and the Exchange Committee are also available to assist you.
Q. What if my family has travel plans?
A. Include the Costa Rican student in your plans.
Partners of the Americas was founded in 1964 as the “people-to-people” component of John F. Kennedy Administration’s Alliance for Progress. Oregon and Costa Rica were among six “charter” Partners.
The intent was for Latin American countries to form a partnership to promote friendships, cultural exchanges, and assistance in various forms.
In the 1960s, Oregon was looked upon as the “Wild West” by Costa Ricans. The first exchange was a group of Costa Rican teachers and others interested to learn if Oregon was really “wild”. The following year students arrived in December to initiate the exchange, which has continued since then. The Oregon/Costa Rican high school student exchange program was “born” in 1966 when a Spanish teacher from Salem, Mrs. Margaret Byers, took 10 Oregon students for a few weeks to stay in Costa Rica. The High School Exchange between Oregon and Costa Rica has operated successfully for over 50 years!
Today, Partners is a private, nonprofit organization, enjoying the support of countless individuals, international corporations and foundations. The High School Student Exchange Committee arranges for host families for Costa Rican students to live with while they are in Oregon. This committee also selects Oregon students and prepares them to travel to Costa Rica in June- August.