About US

Cultural Homestay International (CHI) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1980 by Tom and Lilka Areton. CHI's mission statement is: to promote international understanding and goodwill through people-to-people exchanges. We believe that the best way to build bridges of friendship and trust among people is to experience directly each others' customs, languages and values. To live, study or work together leads to a transformational experience of acceptance and genuine affection. Young people who live with Americans as a family member, participate in the local community, or train in an American business open their minds to the values of volunteering, democracy and freedom. CHI aspires to share the benefits of cultural interchange with the many nations of the earth in the deeply held conviction that such exchanges ultimately contribute to a more prosperous and peaceful world.

For over 35 years, more than 250,000 students and young adults from over 100 countries have come to our shores to participate in CHI's educational and cultural programs, including Academic Year High School exchange, short-term Group Homestay, Au Pair child-care, Internship training, Work & Travel, and Camp Counselor experience. For American students seeking cultural experiences abroad, CHI organizes high school study, language teaching adventures, and work programs in various countries around the globe.

CHI is designated by the United States Department of State as a J-1 visa sponsor, and is a proud member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), World Youth Student Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE Travel Confederation), WYSE Work Abroad, International Au Pair Association (IAPA) and The Alliance for International Educational & Cultural Exchange.

Our People

CHI is justly famous for its caring, professional staff as well as its hands-on management style. Still directed by its founders from the San Francisco area headquarters, CHI continues to inspire with its high quality programs and its dedication to excellence. These qualities distinguish Cultural Homestay International as one of the leaders in the educational and cultural exchange field in North America.

Tom Areton Tom Areton Executive Director, Co-Founder
Lilka Areton Lilka Areton Assistant Director, Co-Founder
Lenka Cernicka Lenka Cernicka Chief Financial Officer
William Murad William Murad Chief Information Officer
Linda Mori Linda Mori Program Development and Compliance Director
Micki Lalonde Micki Lalonde Academic Year, Private High School and Group Homestay Director
Milena Minkova Milena Minkova Work & Travel Director
Kimberley Areton Kimberley Areton Internship & Training Director
Christina Reilly Christina Reilly Au Pair Director
Heidi Smith Heidi Smith World Explorers Manager
Tracy Chayet Tracy Chayet CHI Office Manager
Kristin Chasan Kristin Chasan Communications Coordinator

Who is CHI?

Jobs in Educational Programs


As a Developing Academic Program Administrator (DAPA), you are responsible for hiring and supervising local coordinators in your area to work with high school foreign exchange students. You will need to secure host families as well as local high schools for the students to attend. This is a year-round part-time job. The position requires a high degree of responsibility, public relations, sales and counseling skills. You must enjoy working with teenagers.


As a CHI Academic Coordinator (AC), you can make a difference in the world and your community, meet young people from around the world and work flexible, part time hours from home as an independent contractor! ACs place, supervise and support international students and their American host families while students attend local high schools. A complete training is provided by CHI's Academic Program Administrator who will give you the tools, materials and support needed to be a successful exchange program representative. Finding host families is an integral part of the job, so it is of the utmost importance that you have community contacts.


As a CHI Teacher Coordinator (TC) you will work with groups of international students for 1-4 weeks at a time teaching conversational English, and taking fun field trips. This is seasonal work and does not require a teaching degree. A TC must be dynamic, outgoing and motivated. Finding volunteer host families is an integral part of the job, so it is of the utmost importance that you have community contacts. Full training and support provided.

Are you interested in becoming a Developing Academic Program Administrator, an Academic Coordinator or a Teacher Coordinator? Click below to choose the desired position and contact the correct department directly.

Apply Now

Jobs in Work Experience Programs

Work & Travel Developer

As a Developer you will promote the Work & Travel program to potential employers in your designated area. This is a seasonal/part-time position as an independent contractor with a possibility for long term involvement. This is a fun exciting position that will allow you to earn extra income. Full training provided.

For more information please send a resume and cover letter to: chiwt@chinet.org


Program Coordinators act as strong support staff and liaison between our international participants, the local employers where they work and the housing where they live. This is a seasonal/part-time position as an independent contractor with the possibility for long term involvement.

On-site visits will be required and regular check-ins with the students and employers. Program Coordinators must have a strong desire and experience working with people. We need individuals that will be able to organize and facilitate the program so that everyone involved has a seamless experience. The busiest months will be April, May, June and July. Program Coordinators must have a car and a home computer with internet access. Great communication skills required. Experience dealing with international exchange/study abroad or a desire to work with international students a plus. Full training provided.

For more information please send a resume and cover letter to: chiwt@chinet.org

Are you interested in becoming part of the Work & Travel team? Contact the department directly.

Apply Now

Jobs in the Au Pair Program

Community Administrator

As a Community Administrator (CA), you are the vital link between connecting open-minded and busy families with qualified international au pairs. With your enthusiasm and community contacts, you can help families with their childcare needs and at the same time, promote international understanding and cultural exchange. As an independent contractor, you have the advantage of working out of your home to build a local market and earn a good supplemental income. CHI's Regional Administrator (RA) and our main office staff will work closely with you and support your efforts. Full training provided.