Disciples Exchange Program Hosting
Open your home and change lives forever.
We had a wonderful experience hosting a Spanish Exchange student last summer! Gonzalo, the young man we hosted, was extremely polite, intelligent, helpful and kind! We enjoyed having him as part of our family, and we were very sad when it was time for him to go back to Spain!
Because we had such a wonderful experience hosting a Spanish Exchange student, we are planning to host a Spanish student every year! We are very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and it is truly an honor to be part of such a magnificent program! We wish more families would experience the gift of hosting a student from the Spanish Exchange Program! It has brought great JOY and many blessings into our lives!! What a privilege to have this incredible program right here at St. Mary Parish! The Kadings, Nov. 2012
The Spanish students are high schoolers from practicing Catholic families apostolically related to the Disciples in Spain. Their families want their children to learn English and practice faith in a safe environment. Some characteristics of the program include:
- 3 weeks beginning June 27th
- English lessons at St. Mary Parish In Littleton
- Program activities such as field trips, cultural events and group fun
- Interaction with parish youth and parishioners
- Shared life with the hosting family
Since the program began we have hosted over 125 students with over 75 host families opening their homes. For 2015, we plan to find families for 25 students who already have their plane tickets. We are hoping that you might consider being their hosts for a portion of your summer.
You can host for one, two, or ideally three weeks. If you can’t make the full one month commitment, consider a two week slice, sharing your student with another family who has similar time restrictions. Also if there are a few days or a weekend when you have plans, but can’t take your student, it is easy to find a fellow host family to help out.
In an effort to see if you might be a good candidate as a host family we list some of the more detailed aspects of the program to help you gauge the necessary commitment as well as some requirements that we ask of our host families, especially related to practicing the faith.
Requirements of becoming a host family:
- The hosting family should be a practicing Catholic family. Parishioners from St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton are given preference.
- A non-Catholic family can host a student under the following conditions:
- Agreement from the student’s family and director of the program.
- Respect of the student’s beliefs and Program’s identity.
- Ensuring that the student can get to mass on the weekend.
- If the family is hosting a minor (normally the case), the following will be required:
- Background check performed by the parish.
- 2 Hour Safe Environment class provided free by area Catholic parishes, including St. Mary.
It’s important to know that the commitment and service asked of a host family is to the goals and ideals of the program first and student secondarily.
Duties of being a host family:
- The families must take student to Mass on the weekend (Youth Mass at 5:00PM on Sunday is suggested but not mandatory). Daily mass at 8:15AM for the students is also suggested but not mandatory.
- No need to speak Spanish as we are strongly encouraging the opposite.
- Transportation to/from St. Mary Church and School M-F.
- Carpooling is encouraged via a map provided of all host families homes.
- Please view calendar below to get a more detailed idea of times involved.
- Lunch provided by the program M-F.
- For some of the field trips we may ask that the student bring a sack lunch.
- Dinner and meals during the weekend/week nights are the families’ responsibility.
Extracurricular activities organized by the Spanish students, outside of school hours, are not mandatory for your student (for example: shopping, going to the theaters, parties in homes…). Rides and participation is up to the host family.
Evenings and weekends the student spends with the host family. If your family has a vacation or trip planned, it is no problem. You may take the student with you or make arrangements with another host family to “sub-host” them while you are gone.
If the Host family needs a monetary compensation to offset the costs incurred during the hosting month, it will be available.
If you have children in High School, they can be part of the program taking Spanish classes. If the host family has children the age of the student, they may attend the field trips with the family’s permission, although you will be charged.
Students are covered with their own medical insurance provided by the program.
The families are given the package with all the information regarding the insurance.
The Spanish students have an American cell phone which can be used for communication while the students are here.
The hosting families will be contacted during the year with information and invitations to some celebrations.