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Got a week? Be a host family for Southeast Asian students

March 29, 2017

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies is actively seeking area families to host two high school students or an adult leader from Southeast Asia for one week, April 8-16, 2017.

The 50 students and 10 leaders are participants in the U.S. State Department’s April 4-28 Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP). They are chosen by the U.S. embassies in nine Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. While at NIU, the participants learn about civic engagement, community building and international understanding through sessions on campus, field trips off-campus, and volunteer activities in and around the DeKalb community.

Students are usually placed in pairs and adults as singles. Hosts provide a bed for each participant, breakfast each day and most dinners, meals during any weekend days at home, and transportation to and from class sessions at NIU during the week.

Dozens of area households, from families with kids to empty nesters, have hosted for SEAYLP since the program began in 2009, said administrative director Maria “Rai” Nihei. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about another culture and to share your own,” she said. “Sharing a week with an American household is easily one of the most popular parts of SEAYLP.”

It’s easy to sign up to be a host family online. For more about the host family experience, read what local families have to say in NIU Today. For more information, contact SEAYLP Host Family Coordinator Drew Wells at [email protected] or Nihei at [email protected] or by calling 815-753-6956.

Host-family orientation will be held Monday, April 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 506 in the Holmes Student Center.