SHARE! High School Exchange Program

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues:

Location: 2601 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 322 Santa Monica CA 90405-5212 USA

Mission: SHARE! is a global nonprofit educational foundation. Our mission is to create opportunities for greater tolerance and understanding between Americans and peoples of the world. Each year, the SHARE! High School Exchange Program selects and sponsors approximately 750 exchange students, between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, to experience life in the United States by living with Host Families and attending local public high schools for one semester or a full academic year.
Results: 530 students were placed this school year with wonderful volunteer host families.
Target demographics: Host an Exchange Student!
Direct beneficiaries per year: place more than 550 international high school exchange students have the American experience of a lifetime while living with their volunteer host family
Geographic areas served: international education and travel
Programs: SHARE! places over 550 international high school exchange student's a year between the ages of 15-18 with volunteer host families. SHARE! families are diverse! Traditional two-parent families (with or without children), single parents or adults, and retired couples all make wonderful host families. Any adult with a safe, clean, loving environment, is encouraged to host. Host families provide: A bed, 3 meals a day as well as a loving environment, friendship and a desire to share American culture. The host family may also choose their own student that best fits into their family from over 25 countries from around the world! SHARE! Students all speak English, come fully medically insured and with their own spending money for personal expenses. They attend the host family’s local high school for a school year or semester. Contact SHARE! today at 800-941-3738 or sharesouthwest.org to start your adventure of a lifetime! Also find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharesouthwest

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

2 people found this review helpful

SHARE! is a wonderful, supportive program with experienced, caring leaders. There is always someone there to answer questions and guide us through. This is our first year hosting, and after talking with and looking over other exchange organizations, SHARE! seemed to have the best mission, most effective and thorough process, and excellent staff. They've proved to be everything they seemed to be and more. I love that you cannot view a picture of a student while choosing - the emphasis on matching personalities is HUGELY important, protects the students, and makes the family look at the truly important details. In my opinion, this small feature is in large part what gives the program such success. Our student is studious, funny, and sweet, and fits into our family even better than expected. A++!

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Welcome to the SHARE! family JennyR. We are so happy you are enjoying your experience as a host family and give you a A++ for your incredible spirit of volunteerism! Yvette Coffman SHARE! High School Exchange Program

Welcome to the SHARE! family JennyR. We are so happy to hear how well your high school exchange is going and give you and your family an A++ for such spirit of volunteerism! Yvette Coffman SHARE! High School Exchange Program

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

SHARE! is the absolute best program - ever! I have been involved in student exchange for over 30 years and the last 20 has been with SHARE! and will continue for many years to come. Everyone with SHARE! is compassionate about the program and take interest in every student, host family and local coordinators.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

What a wonderful organization to work with, very caring and always responds to any concern whether student , family, or to me! I highly recommend this organization to volunteers, whether hosting or working with students.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As an exchange program coordinator I have had an en excellent experience placing over 30 students in wonderful SHARE families. I have great support from our Regional office and I cannot say enough good things about our host families. I love them! Every year I plan special activities. We have had pot lucks, gone to baseball games, gone hiking and to visit historical sights, to rodeos, the State Fair, to holiday light festivals and to the state capital. Our students have been screened and SHARE welcomes loving stable families who are also screened to host. They, like myself feel that it is one of the best experiences they have had as a family. As empty nesters my husband and I continue to host and we enjoy giving to a young person, guiding them through their experience here and developing a lifelong friendship. Four of our family's students have been back for visits and consider us their "American" family. We have been to visit them in their homes as well over the years. We raised two boys of our own and this was a great way to spend time with a " daughter" at last as well! Please consider hosting!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot think of anything I would change.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My family and I have hosted 8 students through Share! We started hosting because my son asked us to help out a friend. We continue hosting because of what we received out of the program. We thought we were going to help these students but somehow along the way, we fell in love with these kids (we had two boys our first year). I often questioned what the "Share" or "Exchange" part was since our children were not going to another country, but I have learned we exchanged our ideas and culture with another student and they share and exchange their culture with our family. These kids start as a picture on a profile but leave as my child. In fact one of my "children" have come home to visit this month. He is from Brazil and stayed with us year before last. He will be here for the month of July. This is a relationship that lasts a lifetime, not just the 9 months they are here. I strongly advise anyone that is curious about the program to call. The coordinators are here to answer any questions and help you through the process. This is a very rewarding program for the student as well as the families. It has made a difference in my family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cant think of anything!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a Coordinator for the ERDT SHARE! High School exchange program I have placed over 100 students in wonderful families. In the SHARE! program we are not desperate for host families. We do not place in sub-standard situations and we follow the State Department guidelines for placement. We are available to the schools and the families as well as the student. We contact our students and host families at least monthly and always ask if their is anything they need to discuss with us. We contact the schools quarterly. Our kids are quality kids who have been well screened and always excel in school. Some of them don't speak perfect English but their English is adequate to get them through our schools with good grades. A lot of our students participate in Literary Rally which picks the best students in the school to represent their school in certain subjects. My students who have taken the ACT have made from 22 to 27 in most cases. SHARE! is (although I will admit to some prejudice) the best program I know about today. I wouldn't want to be involved with any other Exchange program. Please SHARE! your heart and home with one of our wonderful SHARE! students. I have hosted one student and my daughter has hosted 3. My student came back to visit me this summer and she will always be our baby girl.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My husband and I just returned from a camping trip in the beautiful Rockies. What made it even more enjoyable was that our Swedish exchange student daughter, of 26 years ago, and her family flew in and shared a week with us, fishing, hiking, and site seeing. We have hosted 12 students over the years and each student has contributed and enriched our lives more than we ever dreamed possible. Share! High School Exchange Program is a great organization with a tremendous team of support and training. We have enjoyed forming friendships with other host families and getting to know their students as well.
If you are reading this and have ever thought of hosting an exchange student, we would say to "go for it" you will not regret it!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Share! has changed our lives beyond description. Teenagers arrived in our home as strangers and left as family members, and now we have young adult sons and daughters and grandchildren in Norway, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Hong Kong. It's impossible to say whose lives are affected more in the hosting process--the student or the host family. I truly believe that the choice to host is in the top five decisions a person/family can make to impact their lives and the lives of others. And making the choice to host with Share! is so important because Share! takes care of its families and students. The support system is second to NONE. Share! rocks my world!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to help it grow!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 

Carol--thank you for such a complimentary review of the SHARE! program. Your family is by far the best gift you have given the SHARE! program. More than the hours and hours you have spent working with the SHARE! program, when it comes down to it, it's families like your's that make SHARE! the program we are!!! Thank you for all the years of hosting, and finding hosts, and for all the good you are spreading to the corners of the world when you decide to call another exchange student "son" or "daughter".

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

What joy it is to work for ERDT! For over ten years I have been blessed to participate in High School Foreign Exchange. The families and students are so brave! The experiences they share are some of the best in life and I am lucky to get to share in them as well. My organization, ERDT, has always been super top notch and professional. I am proud to be a part of their team. My supervisors are always there for me. That has been the most important part, to be supported fully.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Meet the executive director... I have not yet had a chance to meet the infamous man who nurtured the organization and the world to be the best it can.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

What a joy it is to have YOU as part of our SHARE! family. Thanks for the kind review Holly43. Yvette Coffman SHARE! High School Exchange Program

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with SHARE! most of my life. As a young girl my family hosted many students. There are so many memories that I will forever cherish. It was so fun being a host sister. Later in my life I had the opportunity to be a local coordinator. This is the most rewarding and life changing job you could ever ask for. I don't really consider it a job. It is so fun to get to know the youth of the world; so many different cultures, languages, and customs. I have also had the opportunity to have exchange students in my own home. Even though I only have young children they have all done so well in my home. My kids love them. They are so good to adapt to different families and their different traditions.

Being a host family and being a coordinator is the most rewarding thing you could do in your life! It will open your eyes to a whole new world. I know it has for me.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

Local coordinator you are, and grown into being one of our regional administrators, too! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and such a nice review. It was such a pleasure meeting your host families and seeing, first hand, the great homes and schools you have matched the SHARE! students with. It's you and your diligent work with the SHARE! program that makes it a wonderful program to be involved with! Thank you!!