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Why Not Host an Exchange Student

Weston families are being urged to take advantage of the cultural benefits of hosting an exchange student from another country. Residents can learn more about the PAX Academic Exchange Program at a Q&A with former host families Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Weston Library.

"It's a worthwhile thing to the family and the community," said William McKinney, the program's Weston Community Coordinator. "We are in such a small world and Twitter doesn't really give you the same effect as somebody from a different world live with you."

Though the program was founded in 1990 hosts 800 to 900 students a year, McKinney said, there have been only a few Weston host families in the past eight years. He hopes that will change this fall.

Hosts can choose among 15 to 18-year-old students based on their country, gender and interests. The program is available to teens from 40 countries (including Afghanistan, Argentina, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Thailand and Turkey) and students must have three years of English and pass an English test to participate. They are screened by PAX based on maturity and motivation.

Hosts can be parents with children, single, empty nesters or retirees. They are required to provide meals, a warm atmosphere and a place to study and sleep. RSVP to bill@4cmg.com .

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