New Trier seeks exchange student host families for 2017-18 school year

Exchange Students

Welcome a new member into your family, share your everyday life and grow together as you expand your cultural horizons. Become a host family for a New Trier exchange student for the 2017-18 school year.

Interested families can apply by contacting New Trier's Director of Student Life Athena Arvanitis at arvanita@nths.net.

For years, New Trier High School has partnered with AFS Exchange, a nonprofit organization leading intercultural learning. AFS offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world.

New Trier accepts students from foreign countries who apply through AFS, are randomly placed with a host family and meet the high school's acceptance criteria, including but not limited to strong English language literacy, strong academic achievement in their home country, and who will commit to full year of a high school experience at New Trier.

After the selected students choose their preferred region of study, host families find their match from the pool of student applicants. The process assures that the partnership is fit for both the student and the host family, Arvanitis said.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to host students from another country," she said. "Not only does their academic background match New Trier's course offerings, but their hobbies and interests connect well with our extracurricular programs."

Kathy Tucker of Wilmette, whose family has hosted six exchange students over the past several years, said the experience has broadened her definition of family. The Tuckers welcomed Marti Carol I Adroher of Spain this school year.

"It is truly an exchange that enriches everyone involved," she said. "Our hearts have been touched and our lives have been changed; the world has been made smaller."

Host Jeanne Nolan's family in Northbrook welcomed Manon Cuenot from Switzerland, who is attending New Trier as a senior this year.

"Our family has had a very special year with AFS," Nolan said. "Hosting an AFS exchange student has been a wonderful experience for our family, and seeing our host daughter blossom and benefit from her year here is incredibly rewarding. Our 15-year-old daughter has also spent her sophomore year of high school abroad in Spain, and the experience has been positive and life changing."

Cuenot, who attended a New Trier Board of Education meeting with her host family on Monday night, told Board members she has been "happier than ever" this school year.

"I met great friends among the students and the teachers," she said. "Thank you for all the opportunities you gave to us."