What do host families look like?
FLAG works to place students in families who share common interests and hobbies. Host families come in all shapes and sizes. Some families have young children, high school aged children or no children at all (even empty nesters!). Some families have two parents and other have a single parent. Families come from all religious backgrounds, ethnicity types and economic statuses.
What happens if a student and host family are incompatible?
FLAG international students are carefully matched with potential host families for compatibility before the student arrives to the U.S. Our trained Local Coordinators do their best to take into account the profile of each student and that of the host family, recognizing each one’s individuality as well as what they might have in common. Rare as it is, there are some occasions in which the student may have to be moved and FLAG ensures there is always a Local Coordinator nearby to assist both the family and the student in these circumstances.
What rules do students follow in the host home?
The best advice FLAG can give any host family is this - treat the student as you would your own child. Students are to follow the exact same rules as the rest of the host siblings (same curfews, same chores, etc.). This is the best way to make the student feel part of the family verses treating them “special” or as a guest. International students dream of being part of an American family and experiencing 100% immersion into the American culture. What better way to do this than including them into the American day-to-day experience. Even if that does mean washing dishes!
What if a problem arises?
FLAG has great success in placing the right participants with the right host parents. Although, we do understand that sometimes a problem or issue may arise. FLAG provides extensive personalized support throughout the year directly to both the host family and the student. Each student is assigned a local FLAG Coordinator. However, if further issues arise or the placement does not work out satisfactorily, FLAG assumes responsibility to move students to another host family.
Do students have to maintain good grades?
Absolutely. The FLAGship program is an academic as well as cultural exchange program. Just as in their home countries, students are expected to maintain at least a “C” average in the American school. Normally, international students do well in American schools and as such, maintaining good grades should not be a problem. FLAG Local Coordinators do follow the progress of each student and report to FLAG should anyone fall out of good academic standing with the school.
Do J-1 students with senior status automatically graduate?
Exchange student programs can not (and should not) guarantee a high school diploma to any international student. Schools make this determination, not the exchange program. While many schools do permit international students to graduate and receive official diplomas, others do not.