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Now Arriving: Marshfield

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No matter where you go, there is always an opportunity to learn. That is especially true as Marshfield High prepares to welcome three new students from overseas. These three students will be joining the class of 2023 for their junior year and will be traveling from Germany, China, and Spain this year. 

Jeff Curley, Principle of Marshfield High School, explained how the process works, “Typically, the agencies start reaching out to me in the spring. They will introduce themselves and ask if we are taking any exchange students. We do not work with just one agency, so I respond, ‘We take three per year, and it is first come, first serve.” The agency that made it possible for these students to come this year is International Student Exchange (ISE), whose area representative is Linda Murrow. 

Murrow explained the behind-the-scenes process, “There are lots of countries that will send foreign exchange students to America; they will partner with ISC. So, for example, we have someone from Germany who signed up with their agency in Germany and then reached out to us. The student is then placed into a group where area representatives like myself will learn about the students and then find someone who believes they will be a good fit for their family.” 

Murrow mentions that families taking care of foreign exchange students do this voluntarily. “Families are not paid to do this. Regarding finances, the student comes with their own spending money and health insurance. We do everything we can to make it financially easy for families.” 

Murrow then explained that each school handles accepting foreign exchange students differently. “Some schools tell us just send us the application and we will approve or reject it. Some can be more strict, for example, Willard High will only accept one student a year and the principal has to do a Skype interview with the student to decide… Most schools leave it up to us because they know we do an extensive background check”. 

Curley mentions that he usually connects with the host family before he will approve.

 “The host family is the most important part of the whole experience. If they have a good host family then the likelihood of them having a good experience during the exchange program increases drastically. I will check references and make sure the families are good with kids. I’m hard  on it because someone from another country is trusting their kids to be our school district and if my kid was going somewhere I would want them to be taken care of and have a good experience,” shares Curley. 

Both exchange students and host families must endure the many hurdles that accompany the program. However, all parties want the same thing: to make sure the student has a good, if not a great, experience here in America.

If you are interested in or want more information about being a Host family, you can check out the official website: www.iseusa.org or contact Linda Murrow directly at isereplinda@yahoo.com or call 816-507-5825.

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