INTERNATIONAL VISIT: Italian student Ilaria, 17, is one of the exchange students coming to Gladstone in July.
INTERNATIONAL VISIT: Italian student Ilaria, 17, is one of the exchange students coming to Gladstone in July.

Incoming international students seek Gladstone host families

INTERNATIONAL students coming to Gladstone in July are in need of host families.

Student exchange organisation World Education Program Australia will facilitate the arrival of students aged 15-17 from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the United States.

WEP communications coordinator Annie Taylor said the group would arrive July 12.

Ms Taylor said the students had exchanges ranging from eight weeks to two school semesters.

"WEP host families choose the student they would like to host by requesting student profiles which describe the student's program duration, hobbies and interests," she said.

"This determines the location students are placed in."

Ms Taylor said most of WEP's exchange students were placed in regional areas where they could experience a "uniquely Aussie lifestyle".

Student Ilaria, 17, from Italy is one of the incoming students and said she was thankful for the opportunity.

"I can't wait to get to know my host family because I know that you can always learn something from others," Ilaria said.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing school life in Australia and making lifelong connections.

"I know I'll be richer thanks to this experience and everyone I'll meet."

Ms Taylor said all kinds of different host families were considered by WEP.

"Families may have (their own) children of all ages, grown-up children, no children, including single adult and single parent families," she said.

"Host families and exchange students are supported by a local WEP coordinator and WEP office staff who are available 24/7.

"WEP host families gain an international family member, learn first-hand about their culture and enrich their family life through generously helping the student to achieve their dream of discovering the Aussie lifestyle."

Ms Taylor said host families had to provide three meals a day, "a safe, caring home environment" and would not be paid as WEP is a not-for-profit organisation.

Students pay for their own school, transport and medical costs along with any personal spending.

Host family members above age 18 must hold a valid blue card but those without one are helped by WEP to obtain a volunteer card at no cost.

For more information email info@wep.org.au or phone 1300884733.



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