Become a Host Family
Is Hosting Right for Me?
Are you interested in learning about other cultures and ways of life while sharing your own customs and experiences? Are open-mindedness, tolerance and cultural competence of high importance to you? Do you have a desire to contribute towards peace, international understanding and the creation of global citizenship in youth? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may enjoy being a host family for the Lions Youth Camps and Exchange (YCE) Program!
Benefits of Hosting
Hosting an exchange youth is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience because:
- You experience the joy of sharing your culture and daily customs
- You learn about the exchange youth’s customs and culture
- You open a new world of possibilities and thinking to the exchange youth
- You make a new friend - maybe a friend for life
Expectations of a Host Family
Room and Board
You are expected to provide room and board for the youth. It is recommended that youth be roomed with youth of similar ages and similar genders. Meals should be balanced and healthy.
Typically, you are responsible for all of the youth’s transportation during the exchange. Travel may include but is not limited to, transfers to and from the airport or train station, transfers to other Host Families or International Camp, transportation to and from any planned activities by you and/or the Host Club.
Payment for cultural activities is dependent on the agreement made between you, the youth and the Host Club. Some programs offer stipends or scholarships for participating Host Families.
Selecting an Exchange Youth
The criteria for selecting youth differs from YCE program to YCE program.
Hosting a youth is dependent upon desired age, gender, interests and nationality and upon the availability of the youth meeting those requirements. Your local YCE Chairperson will advise you of available youth or if arranged early enough, may seek a youth meeting your request.
You can learn more about the roles and expectations of a YCE Host Family by checking out the YCE Host Family Handbook!
Host Family Eligibility
Potential Host Families must be screened by the Host Lions Club and YCE Chairperson. The Host Lions Club and local YCE Chairperson must approve all host families. Screening items include, but are not limited to:
- Age: Having experience with youth of similar age as the incoming youth.
- Character: Your family should be understanding, interested in other cultures, open-minded, tolerant and have ability to communicate and/or deal wisely with youth.
- Language ability: It would be helpful if one or more members of your family speaks the youth’s language and/or English (most YCE programs require English as the preferred language), and could be necessary in some cases.
- Knowledge of the YCE program and policy: Your family should have some familiarity with the YCE program and/or hosting youth. If you are a non-Lion Host Family, you should be well informed on the scope and objectives of Lionism, and on the YCE program and policy by the local YCE Chairperson.
- Living conditions: Your family should be able to accommodate an additional person in the home without discomfort or financial burden.
- Family preferences: Your family are permitted preference regarding the youth’s nationality, language, religion, gender or age.
- Availability: It is important that you make sure your family’s schedule allows accommodation to spend enough quality time with the youth.
How to Apply