St Mary Catholic School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
All are welcome at St. Mary, call today for a tour!
About Us » Foreign Exchange Guidelines for Host Families

Foreign Exchange Guidelines for Host Families

The Exchange Students primary responsibility is to learn to be fluent in English. Activities that encourage this growth are highly recommended. Activities that inhibit this are discouraged and you should seek the assistance of the classroom teacher and Principal Nauditt. Exchange students should become an integral part of your family.


Host families for Exchange Students at St. Mary Catholic School (SMCS) must be part of the school and/or parish community. Any exceptions to this will be made only after consultation by Principal Nauditt with the prospective family and the approval of the Pastor.


Family Vacations: If Exchange Students are to be included in family vacations that have been planned far in advance and are known prior to the arrival of the Exchange Student, Host Families should decide if the Exchange Student is welcome on this family trip. Should they be welcome, then it is up to the Exchange Student and his/her family to accept the invitation. If they accept the invitation the cost of the trip is to be considered and the student should pay for their portion of this trip. If they choose not to attend, then arrangement should be made for them to stay with someone while their Host Family is on vacation.


Food Cost: The normal food cost are included in the suggested room and board rate of $850.00/month. (negotiable between Host and Exchange Family, but should be decided prior to arrival) If the Host Family is going out to dinner then this is part of the Room and Board. If the student chooses to go out to dinner with a different family, or to the movies or other such entertainment as part of their own social invitations (not those of their Host Family) then these costs are assumed by the Exchange Student and his/her personal funds.


Chores: Just as your own children have to do chores or earn money for extra things, so should the Exchange Student. He/she should be required to participate in the family the same as your own children.


Communications in Spanish: Exchange Students are allowed to have electronic devices, (ie:  personal computers, iPods, cell phones, etc) at the Mexican families expense.  If an Exchange Student does decide to bring them, please discuss with the Host Family their rules for use and read the school handbook for school policies and rules.  All policies and rules must be strictly followed or consequences will occur.  Conversations with home or with other Mexican friends via an electronic device and/or other social media should also be limited to once a week. These are HIGHLY discouraged. Boundaries should be established that encourage the Exchange Student to speak English.


Social Outings: Exchange Students must follow their Host Family decisions on events or activities outside of the home. In addition, they are not to associate with only other Exchange Students except on a limited basis.

A normal adjustment time for an Exchange Student to feel comfortable in their new home is about two months. Should it take much longer than this, the Host Family should contact Principal Nauditt and have a conference. But be patient—time heals many things. Get them as actively involved as possible.


Homework and School work: The Host Family is not to give more or less attention to helping the Exchange Student. The student is responsible to go to the teacher or Principal Nauditt to get additional help if needed academically. Your own son/daughter can help at first but after a normal ‘break-in’ period—about two months—the Exchange Student should be independent and working the same as your own child in taking ownership of their grades.


Visits from Home: Visits from Exchange Student families is highly discouraged—yes, even at Christmas and Easter.


Spending Money: Exchange Students should not be spending more than what would be expected in your own home from your own children on activities and a social life. Granted, if they are buying gifts or souvenirs, these would be exceptions.


Athletic Activities: Exchange Students are very welcome to participate in the school extra-curricular activities. They are provided at no cost except for certain equipment that may be needed. Programs outside of the school are a decision that the Host Family and the Exchange Student have to discuss. The costs of these programs are the responsibility of the Exchange Student, but the travel to get them might be a great concern for some host families. This must not put an undue burden on the Host Family and the Host Family has the final decision as to whether an Exchange Student can participate in these additional programs.