Host families sought for Chinese middle school program participants

Families in the Bemidji area who have an interest in other cultures, enjoy spending time with teenagers and have a desire to promote global awareness are encouraged to consider hosting middle-school aged participants from China who will be attending an English-language immersion experience at Bemidji State University beginning this August.

Home stays are needed beginning Aug. 9 and running through Sept. 21. Housing is needed for between eight and ten participants; two exchange participants in the same home is preferable. Applications for host families will be accepted until July 8 or until all participants have been housed.

The participants’ schedule during the immersion program includes:
• day camp at Bemidji State University from Aug. 13-23, Monday through Friday only, with some optional evening activities;
• a sponsored tour from Aug. 26-Sept. 2; and
• attendance at Bemidji Middle School from Sept. 3-20.

participants participating in the program will be from Weifang, China, and will have been born between 1998 and 2000. Host families can give a preference for hosting one or two participants, male or female; the summer programming office at Bemidji State will match participant and host family profiles and attempt to match participants with families based on hobbies and interests.

participants must be provided with their own bed and place to study, either in their own room or in a room he or she shares with a family member of the same gender and within four years of his or her age. Host families must have homeowners’ insurance providing a minimum of $1 million in coverage, and must not be receiving financial need-based government subsidies for food or housing. Host families also must have parents who are at least 25 years old.

Families interested in hosting participants must participate in a pre-screening process which includes a written application, background checks for all adults living in the home who are 18 years of age or older, reference checks, and a home visit which includes collection of file photographs of the home.

Host families will be provided a $500 stipend to assist with transportation and food costs incurred by hosting participants. participants will have some money, but host families will be expected to provide transportation, all meals except for weekday lunches and entertainment expenses.

Families interested in hosting Chinese participants participating in this program are encouraged to contact Bemidji State University’s summer programming office.

Angie Gora, Bemidji State University summer programs director, (218) 755-2851