The Academic Year Program

Do you long to travel, to experience new cultures? Why not bring the world into your own home by hosting an exchange student? Our Academic Year Program is a cultural exchange between American host families and international students coming to the US to study for a semester or an academic year. We are a US Department of State-designated, CSIET-certified J-1 sponsor program with over 35 years of experience. We believe building these meaningful relationships is the best way to create a more peaceful world. Help us change the world - sign up to be a host family today!

Why Host?

Hosting a student for 5 to 10 months means:

Making a young person’s dream of living in America come true

Positively impacting your family and your community

Experiencing another culture and sharing your own

Learning, growing, and having fun with a brand new family member

Creating long-lasting relationships that your family will have for the rest of your lives

Why CHI?

What makes our program special is the emphasis on connection and cultural exchange. CHI strongly believes in the power of the homestay experience to promote trust and understanding among nations and to build a more peaceful world.

We also truly care about your experience. Our national field staff provides a strong network of daily support for families and students. They are knowledgeable and experienced, and they work to supervise your program with efficiency, patience, and enthusiasm.

You might be wondering how this process unfolds.

How it Works


Make Contact

Contact CHI through this website, through a Coordinator or through an Administrator to express interest in hosting a student.



Fill out our online application and complete the vetting process, which includes background checks, a home visit, and references.


Wait for Placement Information

Once we’ve received your completed application, we do all the work to make sure you are matched with a student that’s just right for your family. We will usually involve you in the process and show you applications. The placement season runs from January to the late summer, so there is plenty of time to make the best choice.



a. When the placement has been made, we will provide a host family orientation and help you prepare for an exciting experience for you and your family.

b. Once your student arrives, we will support your family and your student to have the best experience possible.

c. Your role is to provide three meals a day, a welcoming home environment, and the kindness of an open heart to a brave young student! This program is about building relationships and sharing each other’s cultures.


Monthly Updates

a. The Department of State requires that we conduct host family and student visits as well as monthly reports. These help us to stay in regular communication so that we can address issues openly and help you as efficiently as possible.

b. These updates occur throughout the program until your student’s departure for home.


...and repeat!

We would love to have you back! Many of our host families continue to host throughout the years. Once your application is in our system, hosting again is as easy as making a few little updates.

A caring and knowledgeable CHI associate is ready to answer any questions you may have about hosting.

Contact the nearest CHI associate

We are here to help, whether you have questions about our program or are ready to sign up!

How to Host

The heart of this program is all about building a unique, life-long relationship with a student from another country and culture. Welcome the world into your home and become a host family today!

Becoming a host family is easy!

  • Contact us through this website or through your Local Coordinator
  • Fill out the online application
  • Complete the vetting process
  • Wait to be matched with a student
  • Get excited!

You can expect to:

  • Receive orientations and materials to help you prepare for this exciting experience before your student arrives.
  • Provide three meals a day and a welcoming home to your student for 5 to 10 months.
  • Meet on a regular basis with your coordinator who will provide you with the support and knowledge to make this experience the best it can be!


If you are interested in hosting, use the map below to contact one of your local Area Program Administrators. Or, send us a message so your local Coordinator can contact you directly!

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