According to Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.) President, John Doty, the students are all between the ages of 15 and 18, speak English, have their own spending money, carry accident and health insurance, and are anxious to share their cultural experiences with their new American families. P.I.E. currently has programs to match almost every family's needs, ranging in length from a semester to a full academic year, where the students attend local high schools.
P.I.E. area representatives match students with host families by finding common interests and lifestyles through an informal in-home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review student applications and select the perfect match. As there areno "typical" host families, P.I.E. can fit a student into just about any situation, whether it is a single parent, a childless couple, a retired couple or a large family.
Families who host for P.I.E. are also eligible to claim a $50.00per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month they host a sponsored student.
For the upcoming programs, P.I.E. has students from Germany, the Former Soviet Union, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Yugoslavia, China, and many other countries. P.I.E. is also participating in two special government-funded programs to bring scholarship students from the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union as well as predominantly Islamic countries such as Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar to the United States.
P.I.E. is a non-profit educational organization that has sponsored more than 25,000 students from 45 countries since its founding in 1975.
Doty encourages families to contact the program immediately, as it will allow the proper time for the students and hosts to getto know one another before they actually meet for the first time.
Juneau County area families interested in learning more about student exchange or arranging for a meeting with a communityrepresentative may call P.I.E., toll-free, at 1-866-546-1402. Theagency also has travel/study program opportunities available forAmerican high school students as well as possibilities for community volunteers to assist and work with area host families, students and schools.