Overseas trade students find short-term home, forever relatives through application

Most days, April Bray has 8 small children dwelling below her roof. And though six of them are biological – and permanent – the other two keep for a time and then transfer out as two new kids acquire their location.

Bray’s loved ones is a host loved ones for Ayusa Intercontinental, a nonprofit international exchange college student system among the U.S. and much more than 70 other nations around the world. Every single calendar year, the Bray family members opens their hearts and dwelling to large college college students from across the globe. In addition to being a overseas trade college student host, Bray is the regional manager for the southwest division of Ayusa.

The college students from Ayusa stay right here and attend higher school in Katy ISD. They perfect their English and take up American tradition. They deliver a piece of their homeland to their new spouse and children and open up them to a various way of daily life. When the scholar returns to their nation, they deliver their ordeals house with them and share them with their possess lifestyle.


The trade learners are a varied selection of nationalities, religions and financial backgrounds, but they all share a common purpose- to come to the U.S. to experience the American Desire.

In the Ayusa application, young people are living with a host relatives for 5 to 10 months. The host family opens their house to the scholar and supplies cost-free space and board. The learners carry their individual income for outfits and other requirements, but foods, boarding and utilities are supplied at no demand by the host family members.

The students have their individual overall health insurance policy but are not permitted to have a job or drive a auto owing to their visa standing.

“The host household has to present a few meals a working day. They have to present a bed- they can share a home with a sibling – and deal with the student as a member of the family, not a guest,” Bray spelled out. “But you give them chores, make them have household time with you- things like that.”

Ideally the learners come to be a member of the loved ones with whom they will have an enduring marriage. “I brag about (my exchange pupil, Lena) like a mother,” explained host mom Anne Seppa. “Lena is no longer a ‘foreign exchange student’ but a member of our family. It feels natural to get in touch with her my daughter.”

It’s a competitive plan for the exchange students to get into. According to Bray, Ayusa has a 3 p.c acceptance rate. “I’ve read it’s more durable to get into our plan than it is to get into Harvard,” she explained. “These youngsters really want to get into this software.”

Elvira Muratovic will be a initial-time host mom for an trade college student this 12 months when the system reopens. Muratovic grew up in Bosnia, and European countries trade pupils a lot far more commonly than the U.S.

For Muratovic, the final decision to host an exchange pupil was based mostly on the benefit to her spouse and children to have a overseas scholar residing in their home.

Muratovic has a few sons, and her household will be hosting a teenage boy from Germany. “I cannot get my youngsters all over the earth, but I can carry the environment to them,” she mentioned. “The most effective way to expose your child to tradition and languages is to convey anyone into your property for a few months and have your boy or girl learn from them.”