Tippecanoe School Corporation
PaX Academic Exchange
Kerry Yoder

Dear parents,

We need your help! Time is running out and we wanted to let you know about an opportunity to help McCutcheon High School participate in an award-winning international education program. 

Would you please consider helping give your children and other TSC students a leg up? 

Hosting a high school exchange student gives your family and your local school an important opportunity to cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of, "intercultural competence", essential for today's global workplace increasingly being viewed as a necessity not only in business but in the military, k-12 schools and colleges. 

Want to do something memorable, fun and rewarding? 

Hosting an exchange student is incredibly fun and rewarding. It creates opportunities to see the world and America through new eyes and creates bonds that last a lifetime!

Did you know hosting isn't an opportunity just for high school parents? 

Empty nesters, grandparents, and parents of young children all make great host families. The U.S. Department of Education believes developing global and cultural competencies should start with early learning and continue through elementary, secondary and postsecondary education. here is what Amanda, the mom of a young family had to say about their experience hosting last year. 

Last summer, our family probably looked like the last family who would host an exchange student.  Our children were 6 years old, almost 4 years old, and 9 months old.  We felt we had nothing to offer to a teenager from another country.  But my husband, Jim, and I often talked about the desire to host an exchange student in the future.  Then out of the blue, I received a text message during one of our children’s soccer games, from a friend that I hadn’t heard from in two years.  She was helping find families for exchange students and wanted to know if we knew of anyone interested or if we would be interested.  My husband and I laughed at how we had just talked about it a week prior.  So again, we laughed it off, told her we weren’t ready and carried on with our day.  But something started stirring in our hearts.  We kept coming back to the ides that this might be a possibility for us, even in our crazy, hectic, life.  Among all the diaper changes, preschool, and elementary schedules, could we really be a good fit for a teenager? We decided to start the process of applying to be a host family.  We quickly learned that McCutcheon High School works exclusively with PAX (Program of Academic Exchange) and were put into contact with the local coordinator. Through the PAX website, we were able to read through many profiles of students, also having the option to sort and filter profiles based on criteria that may make them more compatible with our family.  How brave were all these students!  Sharing about themselves and hoping for the opportunity to live and study abroad for a year, with complete strangers! Well, through the process of reading many profiles and also with the help of our coordinator, we selected our student.  Joan (pronounced Joe-on), from Barcelona.  He was 15, would be a Junior, and the oldest of three children.  He had no idea what he was getting himself into when we selected him! The day we picked him up the airport, our youngest cried in the car the whole way home and Joan looked terrified! But it’s funny how our hearts work.  How quickly we learn to love and open others into our families.  Our children quickly befriended Joan, making him into their personal jungle gym, and eventually calling him part of our family. During the 10 months, Joan lived with us, we got to share our love of baseball (Go Cubbies!) with him and we took him and our daughter t their first and second Cubs games!  Joan also joined us at a Colts game, we went to the Great Wolf Lodge as a family over Christmas break, he cheered on our daughter at her dance recital, he attended many family functions with us, and quickly became “our boy”.  Joan also taught us about his culture, Christmas traditions, and even cooked us some Catalonian dishes.  He played on the intramural basketball teams, attended his first prom, and made several friendships that will last a lifetime. Before Joan headed home at the beginning of the summer, we asked him if he ever imagined he would have been placed with a family that had three small kids, two dogs, a cat, and a crazy schedule.  He said, “No, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be with any other family.”  We learned a great deal about Barcelona and Joan’s culture, but more importantly, our children learned that no matter what part of the world someone comes from, chances are they have many of the same values and that if you open your home and heart, you will gain so much!!

Each year, the Program for Academic Exchange (PAX) brings 1,000 teenagers selected from 70 countries to the U.S. for an academic year.  McCutcheon High School would like to participate in this wonderful opportunity for academic cultural exchange.  We need your help for the next step… finding host families.

PAX students are exceptional students who are selected based on motivation to learn about America and to share their own country’s culture.  They provide fresh perspectives that enrich the learning experience of their peers. Through them, their home and American school, host family and community all gain an appreciation for another country and culture.

Whether they are from Europe, Asia or Africa these amazing young people share a common goal: they want to experience and better understand America by participating in real-life activities as a student and family member.

Where will the exchange students be from?  You can decide.  The host family gets to select the student and can choose one that shares common interests with their family or hails from a country they would like to learn more about or someday visit. Often exchange students and their hosts form close lifelong relationships and become a true family.

Your America becomes their America.  Your help is urgently needed. If you or someone you know would be interested in inviting an international student into your family and helping McCutcheon high school and our local community participate in this enriching program, please contact PAX community coordinator, Kelly Santy at kdsanty@gmail.com

PAX is also a sending organization with exciting opportunities all over the world for students who are interested in becoming exchange students themselves!!! Host families receive a 10% discount!