ICES Cultural Youth Exchange builds relationships that last a lifetime

Local West Virginia families interested in “building relationships that will last a lifetime” are invited to host high school exchange students from one of 20 European, South American or Asian countries during the upcoming school year. Sponsored by International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES), these students arrive in the U.S. in August.

According to Central West Virginia resident and ICES Regional Administrator Teresa Kelly, who has worked for several years in Youth Exchange, these students are 15-18 years old, have studied English for at least three years, and are motivated to learn more about the U.S. by attending high school and living with a host family. ICES students are eager to experience American activities – backyard barbecues, birthday celebrations, and holidays – with their host families. They are covered by comprehensive medical insurance and have their own spending money for incidentals.

Volunteer host families provide ICES students with a bed, a quiet place to study, a seat at the dining table, a warm and supportive home environment, and encouragement to engage in everyday American life. With their exchange students, host families experience such activities through fresh eyes while also learning about the exchange student’s country and culture. All types of families – single parents, young couples, retirees, and parents with teenagers – are welcome to host.

Founded in 1991, ICES is a nonprofit educational organization. More than 1,100 teenagers visit the U.S. as ICES exchange students each year. For more information, call Teresa Kelly at 304-619-6632 or visit To view available student profiles: Meet Our Students:

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