A Mexican exchange student coming to Prince Rupert is in need of a host family this September.
The company that took over the international exchange student program threw the program’s resident coordinator for a loop when she found out in July that two students from Mexico are enrolling in Charles Hays Secondary School for 10 months.
“It was my understanding that they would no longer send students here,” said the coordinator, Judy Schwarz, who is on the hunt for a host family. She has been coordinating for the past three years and the exchange program has been running for a decade.
The program was originally run out of Prince George through Shecana but it closed its business in April and now it’s being run by Youth Education Services Canada. Last year, students came from Germany and in the past they’ve come from other countries in Europe.
“Right now, we’re at the point where a lot of host families have hosted for several years and want to take a break,” she said.
She has secured a host family for Sabina, one of the students coming from Mexico, but she is asking for a family to host 17-year-old Jose.
Jose’s profile states he is ready to fully immerse himself in a brand new culture, language and environment. Schwarz said he is a calm and respectful young man who lists swimming and yoga as his hobbies. His goal is to come to Canada to improve his English in the hopes to study engineering at the University of Laval. He’ll have to pick up some French while he’s here to attend the French-language university in Québec City.
He is expected to arrive Sept. 2 and he will stay until July 2, the same with Sabina.
“We want to have them exposed as much as possible to the Canadian culture. A lot of the students are volunteering at Halloween Fest. We want them to be out there and experience the many facets life has here,” she said.
For people interested in being a host family, Schwarz will interview them and then visit their home to check and see if they meet certain safety standards. The family has to go through a criminal record check. The program covers the extra cost of having the exchange student live with them. If the host family has to go on a business trip, the program sets up a placement for the student as backup.
For more information contact Judy Schwarz at 250-624-8525 or her cell at 250-600-0332.