S. Jersey exchange program needs hosts

Linar Martin of Spain, a 2011 exchange student, marveled at prices. Her host family later visited her in Spain.
Linar Martin of Spain, a 2011 exchange student, marveled at prices. Her host family later visited her in Spain. (GLOBAL FRIENDSHIPS INC.)
Posted: June 20, 2013

Mi casa, su casa.

An exchange program for Spanish teenagers is looking for families in Camden County who would like to host students for the month of July.

Fifteen students and a chaperone are coming from July 1 to 29, and eight students have been placed in host homes.

"They're sharing their culture and you're sharing the American way of life," said Dan Herman, a coordinator for the Greater Cherry Hill area for Global Friendships, a homestay program for international students who travel abroad.

The 31-year-old female chaperone, studying to be a chef, and mostly girls, between 15 and 17 years old, need homes.

"I have hosted for several years and I absolutely love it," said Kris Harris of Brick, N.J., who started hosting when her son was in kindergarten. He is now 18 and graduating from high school.

Harris said she remains friends with all the students she has hosted, often Skyping or texting. Recently, she and her family spent three weeks in Spain with former host families, visiting the regions surrounding Madrid and Barcelona.

In August, she said, she and her husband will be attending the wedding of a chaperone in the Barcelona area.

"Since they live with you, they become part of your family," Harris said.

Herman said host families are asked to provide meals and some transportation. Car pools are coordinated, and the students will take two trips to New York, a trip to Great Adventure, and visit the Jersey Shore. The host families are encouraged to join the trips and transportation is provided by the program.

The teenagers also attend English classes and some activities planned through the program.

Students can share a room with other teenagers close in age and of the same sex. Families, single parents, retirees, working parents, or young couples can apply to host students.

Herman said host families are needed in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Collingswood or other nearby towns.

For more information about Global Friendships, visit the website at http://www.globalfriendships.com.

To host a student, contact Harris at 856-287-2393, or via e-mail at hermanator3@comcast.net.

Contact Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838, bboyer@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @BBBoyer.

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