Families sought for exchange students
Saturday, July 06, 2013 4:58 AM
This fall, five students from three countries will travel to Madison to participate in a student exchange program.
CCI Greenheart, a national organization that works with student exchange programs around the world, is looking for host families.
Carolyn Alcorn, a local representative for the group, said it could still use a few host families to house students for the eight months they're living in the U.S.
"We just ask that you invite the student in and let them become like a part of the family," Alcorn said.
That could include taking them to church on Sunday, family get-togethers and even giving them household chores, Alcorn said.
"Just like anybody else, it helps them feel connected," she said.
Laura Hodges and her husband, Dan, took in Ricardo Ruiz, a Spanish exchange student, last school year. He left Madison on June 20.
"We had a great experience," Hodges said. "We didn't have any other children living with us at the time. All our kids were grown. It was a new experience to have only one child there by himself at home."
"We absolutely have a much better understanding of people of that age now," Hodges said. "It's a completely different generation. It's just a whole different thing than the generational differences we had with our children."
Hodges said they hope to visit Ruiz and his family in the future.
As of now, there are five students coming to Madison this fall through CCI Greenheart: one from Vietnam, three from Spain and another from Germany.
Madison Consolidated High School will host three of the exchange students, while Shawe Memorial High School will host two.
Alcorn said both schools have been hosts before.
"We look for good students. They have to have an above C average. Many of them are A or B students," Alcorn said. "We want students who want to come and participate in the community and be part of what we're doing."
Over the last eight years, Madison has hosted 30 exchange students, Alcorn said.
"Kids come from all over - Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Germany, Sweden. These kids get so connected to Madison," she said.
Each student is fully insured and brings spending money, Alcorn said. Anyone interested in hosting a student can visit www.ccigreenheart.org or call Alcorn at 812-701-2399 for more information.