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Hosting an international student is easy & rewarding

LAPLACE —An online application, a background check and the ability to provide food and shelter is all it takes to host an international student in St. John the Baptist Parish, according to Kathleen Hotard.

A bit of generosity might be the push a student fueled by the American Dream needs to change the world.

Hotard is looking for families able to host an exchange student arriving in August and leaving after school ends in May.

She can be reached by Facebook messenger or at msbaby3354@yahoo.com.

Colleen Robinson has the same goal in mind. Since 1991, she’s worked with Academic Year in America to place international students ages 15 to 18 with local families.

Students hail from 39 countries around the world and have taken at least three years of English study, according to Robinson. Almost all are highly intelligent, she said, adding some exchange students are fluent in up to four languages.

All are recommended by their schools in their respective countries. Students arrive with full medical insurance and their own spending money. Additionally, host families may specify the age, gender and nationality of the student they would like to house.

Students must arrive in August for the fall semester or the full 2019-2020 terms. Students may also arrive in January for the Spring 2020 term.

In March, Robinson was overjoyed to receive a visit from an international student she hosted years ago. She was proud to say the young man returned to America, earned his master’s degree in May and is now working a successful career at a large architectural company in New York.

“I love being involved in this,” Robinson said. “I don’t host anymore, but I still work to find host families.”

Academic Year in America is one of the oldest, most respected International Student Travel / Study Programs. One of its founders was the late Senator Robert Kennedy.

For more information, please contact Robinson at 504-239-8393 or colleenrobinson1@yahoo.com.