About 6 moths ago I was approached to be an Exchange Coordinator at EF exchange. I have been talking to EF for about 6 months now, taking training, filling out applications, providing references, going through background checks, taking endless calls, inviting people into my home, refinishing my basement, buying a bed , creating a room for a student.
Last week I was told that my student was in the process of sending her transcripts to the school and we were almost there!
Today out of the blue I received a phone call from the applications department telling me that I was no longer being considered for a host family role because of 2 reasons:
1) I am not gainfully employed: I discussed this with the person that recruited me before this process commenced saying that I would perhaps be laid off at the end of March. I have severance until August and I am deep into an interview process for which I expect to receive an offer in the next week.
2) Apparently I am not "comfortable" with all of the requirements that a host family has to complete. Did I not:
Remodel my basement (at the tune of $5K) to make a space for the student?
Buy a bed for the student and create a space for her (another $700)
It was less than 2 weeks ago I voiced that I thought I would like to be a host family but not a coordinator. I needed to have an experience before I was able to effectively recruit families and let them know what they should expect. Does this constitute my not being comfortable? I think if anything it shows a vested interest in wanting to immerse in the process before being an advocate for it.
I am thoroughly disgusted by the operations at EF. If you are considering going through EF to host a student- look elsewhere.
Beware of false CPS complaints that EF will file. If a kid sees a better opportunity or "better host home" they will lie to get moved. If you don't travel and spend a ton of money you won't be good enough to volunteer as a host family! Huge liability to your family to host a student with this org.
STAY AWAY FROM EF!!!!! Worst organization ever... If you are a host family and have a problem good luck getting any help. EF Staff only get involved if their are concerns; however, host families are the ones who suffer as they do not hold students accountable. They are more interested in being "friends" with the teenage exchange students and collecting money from families. You can't trust or believe anything you are told by any of the coordinators or directors, they tell you one thing then do another and they completely undermine the authority in your home. Don't ever host female exchange students from Denmark, Norway or Sweden... (either in my home or in friends homes) are narcissistic manipulative LIARS. EF caters to the students and fail on supporting host families. Let me say this again, STAY AWAY FROM EF!!!!!
I have worked with EF for over 10 years now. We love hosting and we try to change up which country we choose from each year. Thailand, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden .... we love them all and each one brings us an exciting challenge and a chance to show off our little part of the world. Our lives have changed since we began this journey - with no kids of our own at home, it keeps us active and involved in our community.
We have hosted and worked with EF for the past 10 years, and it truly has changed our lives. The support that we receive prior to the kids arriving, while the kids are here, and if anything ever comes up they are there to help us out at anytime 24/7/365. The training that we get throughout the year keeps us on top of the High School Exchange programs. We did investigate many other programs before we decided that EF was the right program for us to be a part of. And to say that it was one of the best decisions we have ever made as a family. The amazing additions to our family are for always and forever!
Four years ago, an International Exchange Coordinator in Casper, Wyoming reached out to me about EF and it's mission. Hosting an exchange student had been something I had thought about for a while , however, I wanted to research EF Foundation (as well as other exchange organizations) to ensure I was choosing an organization who would provide outreach and support to its students and host families - particularly given the fact that I am a single man with no children!
Needless to say, EF was my choice and I am so thankful to be a part of the EF family! I have hosted four students through EF (I just placed my fourth on the plane back to Sweden yesterday) and will host TWO students this coming school year!!! EF has transformed my life!
I have been a volunteer host family with EF for many years now. This fall my family and I will welcome our 5th exchange student. We have shared our culture, our American way of life and our values with the students that have lived with us and we've learned so much about the world at the same time. It's clear how much EF cares about the students, the natural parents and the host families and does a wonderful job of bringing us all together. Our lives have been truly blessed by this organization.
This year we hosted 2 young men from Switzerland and The Netherlands. These guys make numbers 7 & 8, sons in our family over the years.
EF does a Great job in everything from screening the students in their home countries to the support from the local area coordinators and everything in between.
In our years as a host family, we've never had an issue come up that was anything more that a "normal" family would deal with and by being honest and open with communication and Not trying to blame others, we've had Fantastic years.
Anyone who thinks being involved in something this great is easy & anyone can do it is fooling themselves. The tears that flow at the airport when it's time for them to go home could wash away a drought, BUT so worth it because we have Family all over the world.
Great job EF & keep up the great work
We have been with EF for 10years now and our life would not be the same without this great company.. We have hosted 17 students and love each of them as our own child..
EF has continues to enrich our lives and students from all around the world..
I simply love this company...
Amazing organization. Have had 4 exchange students from different organizations. This one is a BY FAR the best organization out there. Will not even think about hosting through anyone but EF. My children have "sisters" from across the globe and we thank EF for all their support and always being there!! We can't wait for the next one coming in August!