GRACE has been accepted as a certified school for international students. Schools have to be accredited and certified by the US government to be able to do this. We partner with an organization called New Oasis in this process. This organization is used by many of the independent schools in our area and has a reputation of doing an excellent job of vetting students and giving them excellent support while they are here in the US. We will limit the number of students to 10% of our high school population and students will mostly begin at GRACE in 9th or 10th grade.
The GRACE community is invited to welcome these students and share the Gospel with them as they learn about the US and live in our culture. Our students will have the opportunity to learn from these students about different cultures and become global citizens themselves.
Each international student will need a host home. Are you interested? Do you know someone who would be a great host family and be blessed by this experience? If so, please let us know!
A host family must provide:
- Transportation to and from school (must live within 10 miles of school)
- Nutritious meals
- A separate bedroom (may share a bathroom)
- Parental supervision of a young adult eager to work hard and learn about American culture
A host family will receive:
- An amazing cultural experience
- A monthly stipend of $1,100 from New Oasis
- Ongoing academic and social support from New Oasis
- A mutually rewarding experience
Some common questions and clarifying answers:
“How long is the host family commitment?” Although the student will most likely be an incoming freshman or sophomore, attending GRACE for 3–4 years, the host family commitment is for one school year, with the student returning home during summer breaks. Many host families do create deep and lasting bonds with their exchange student and look forward to having them back after summer break, but we only ask for a one-year commitment. Also, if you do need to go some place without your exchange student, it’s not a problem—one of our respite families can step in for short-term hosting.
“Won’t the exchange students want to be with someone their own age?” Not necessarily. New Oasis has had great success with empty nesters and families with small children. These home environments can provide a restful safe haven where peer-related anxieties to perform/behave/speak in very particular ways are less demanding.
“Not knowing the student makes me a little uneasy.” New Oasis does a great job vetting their applicants and only accepts students who can excel academically and socially. Beyond this, a lot of time and energy is put into matching students and host families by interest. But even after a match is made and the exchange student has selected you based on your profile (created from your application, references and home visit), you will begin communication with your exchange student before their arrival, and both parties have to be on the same page and feel at peace about the arrangement.
Thank you so much for taking the time to think and pray about how you can help us find wonderful families that can share the love of Christ in tangible ways through the hosting experience.
If you would like to apply:
- Fill out the application at https://newoasisedu.secure.
force.com/or contact Leah Sparks (413-240-8395 or firstname.lastname@example.org), who is GRACE’s host family coordinator HostFamilyApplication/
- For more information about New Oasis, visit their website at http://www.newoasisedu.com