Local coordinator seeks families for student exchange program

Lanette Martin, EF High School Exchange Year local coordinator, is pictured with her husband Bowen and their two exchange students on a trip to Arizona this past March. Martin is currently seeking local families to host exchange students during the upcoming school year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lanette Martin of Marshalltown has been appointed International Exchange Coordinator for the region by EF (Education First) High School Exchange Year. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, EF HSEY is a non-profit foreign exchange organization designated by the U.S. Department of State. The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) grants full listing to EF Foundation in the 2024-2025 Advisory List. This program is committed to the concept of exploring the “Global Classroom,” bringing international exchange students between the ages of 15 and 18 to the United States on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa for a one-year, academic and home-stay experience. EF FHSEY was established in 1979 and is one of the largest and most experienced foreign exchange organizations nationwide.

Martin was selected to represent EF-HSEY due to her interest in foreign cultures and her enthusiasm and desire to become more active in the community. She is currently interviewing families in this area interested in sharing their lives with a young person from another country for the upcoming academic year.

“EF students come from 16 different countries, including South America, Europe, and parts of Asia,” Martin said. “All of our students are interviewed and prepared for their year abroad by EF staff in those countries. They all come with their own insurance coverage and their own spending money. Host families are asked to provide three meals a day, a bed, and a warm, supportive environment for the student to become part of their family.”

Local support is provided to the student and family by Martin as the local coordinator.

“We are looking for families who are interested in the world and would like to help an exchange student learn firsthand about America.”

Martin joins Pella resident, Cecilia McCloud, in this endeavor. McCloud acts as the Regional Coordinator for central Iowa.

Anyone interested in learning more about hosting can contact Martin at martin@efexchangeyear.org or EF headquarters at 800-447-4273. The EF website is efexchangeyear.org.