Hosting Information

We are looking for families to host a student for 2 weeks:

Dec 18, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022 (approximate)

Please fill out the survey below if you are interested:

Hosting Survey 21-22

Our program has been altered this year due to Covid-19.  Read below to find out more:

  • Partners of the Americas will be doing a shortened immersion program this winter, and we are looking for families to host a Costa Rican student for 2 weeks from December 18- January 2 (dates are approximate).
  • Some extra considerations we are making due to Covid.
    – All students from Costa Rica will be fully vaccinated before coming to Oregon.
    – All household members of the host family should be vaccinated if eligible.
    – Costa Rican students will only live with one host family.
    – Costa Rican students will not attend school.


Now looking for great host families! Get your application in now!

If you are interested in becoming a Host family, please fill out our application here.
If you have hosted before and would like to host again please complete this shorter form here: 2019-2020 Returning Host Application
Be sure to check the Important Dates for 2019-2020 Hosting Program (Northbound)

4-Week Hosting Program



25 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 eight weeks. Each students live with two families and attend two different high schools. They are accompanied by two English speaking chaperones who regularly check in and provide support for students and host families as needed.


Families may host a Costa Rican student for one of the following 4-week sessions:

1st Session: December 7, 2019 – January 4, 2020

2nd Session: January 5, 2020 – February 2, 2020


  • To provide an immersion experience with opportunities to develop conversational skills in English.
  • To promote international understanding and friendship between the people of Oregon and Costa Rica
  • To provide students from both countries with the broadening educational experience of other cultures
  • To strengthen ties between Oregon and Costa Rican high school students and their families.

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, you can complete a host family application on our website or contact the Host Program Coordinators:

Website: Email:    [email protected]

Hosting Coordinators: Jani VanPelt 971-212-7506 or Jennifer Gingerich 530-201-5331

The deadline for turning in your completed hosting application is October 26, 2019.

Step 1

The hosting application has three sections and can be completed online.
The first two sections should be completed by a parent and the last section is to be completed by the host student.
Hosting Application.

Step 2

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. Form URL:
Confidential Reference

Step 3

Submit a completed and signed School Permission Form
Email a scanned copy to: [email protected]

If there are any issues with this application, please contact the Hosting Coordinator at:
[email protected]

Review Important Dates

Review all the important upcoming Northbound Hosting Family dates. If there are no dates listed below, please click Northbound Important Dates, to see a list of important dates for Northbound (hosting) families.

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?

A. No.

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.

Images attributions can be located on the attribution page