“I learned a lot about the United States. All I knew about the U.S. was mainly from mass media. It is quite different to see and experience everything personally.”
-Tynchtykbek Sultanov, Visitor from Kyrgyzstan, Public Health Program
“Having Silva stay with me was certainly an eye-opening experience. I learned a lot from her visit and her presence, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have hosted.”
-Hye Mi Ahn, Home Stay Host
“It was a great opportunity to expose our kids to a culture that they might not have otherwise been exposed to, the whole family loved having our visitor in our home.”
-Amy Kaplan Stern, Home Stay Host
Embrace New Cultures While Sharing Your Own!
In addition to the short term visits, the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) hosts foreign professionals from the former Russian Republics who spend 10-20 days in our community. The programs are sponsored by the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID). All visitors are placed with home stay families to immerse in American culture and experience American lifestyle first hand. Long-lasting memories are created for both visitors and hosts and the cultural and emotional enrichment for the entire family is priceless. This opportunity is suitable for families of all sizes and all cultural backgrounds.
Ways to get involved:
1- Become a Host Family
- Become a cultural Ambassador of your country
- Make a difference
- Have fun
Dear Potential Homestay Families:
We cannot do it without you! You are the heart of these programs and this is why they are so successful! People-to-people exchanges is constantly quoted as the most effective tool of American diplomacy. Help us break stereotypes and spread the word about American hospitality.
Hosting a visitor is a fantastic way to learn about other countries, expose your family to new cultures, and make lifelong friends. Hosting a visitor requires a private bedroom and a private or shared bathroom. Visitors will have breakfast in your home and some dinners. Lunch is arranged by WTCI. Some evening meals will take place at dinner hospitality hosts. Hosts are expected to engage their visitor in family activities to experience American lifestyle. Living with your family, regardless of your ethnic background, gives participants the opportunity to get acquainted with American lifestyle. Transportation is arranged by WTCI and any issues that may arise will be handled promptly by an assigned visitor liaison.
WTCI works to provide the best possible hosts-visitors match. This is why it is important for us to know about you and your household. Prior to the group’s arrival in the U.S., each homestay host receives information on their guest, the region they are coming from, and cultural tips on hosting a person from the respective country. Homestay hosts meet their guest and all other hosts at a Welcome Reception in WTC-Baltimore. The program ends with a Farewell Reception where all hosts receive recognition for participating and all visitors receive a Certificate of Achievement for the successful completion of their program.
Thank you for being such valuable citizen diplomats!
2- Become a Cultural Immersion Volunteer
- Spend a day with a visitor outdoors – Cultural component is an important part for people-to-people exchanges. While the World Trade Center Institute incorporates cultural activities into the visitors’ schedule, we encourage interested parties to share activities with a few guests.
- Share laughs over a homemade meal – If you are unable to offer room and board, you still have the opportunity to offer a home cooked meal and to allow our guests to learn about you and your family.
- Become a volunteer driver – Contribute to a smooth execution of the program. Sometimes visitors homes are too dispersed and even though WTCI arranges for van pickups, volunteer drivers are key in assuring that time is maximized for the visitors. Mileage is reimbursed.
- Join a cultural activity to help with translation – Interpreters are not hired for cultural activities. Refresh your Russian or Spanish and join the group during evening or weekend cultural events. Use you language skills to help maximize the visitors’ understanding of American history and culture. A volunteer’s explain of the significance of landmarks helps to enhance the visitors’ experience of all things American.
With inquiries and for more information contact Janine Branch, Senior Manager, Professional Exchanges and Program Development, T: (410) 576 0022 X 10; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org