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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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Westport host families sought for teen exchange student

Updated 4:04 pm, Thursday, July 17, 2014
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Sponsors of a foreign exchange program are looking for Westport families to host a teenager from the Czech Republic who will attend Staples High School during the 2014-15 academic year.

The 17-year-old boy is fluent in English, and Rotary International, which sponsors the program, would like to find two or three Westport families that each would host him for several months.

Fides Ostbye, a member of Westport Rotary who is coordinating arrangements for the student, said hosts must provide a bed and meals and would be expected to treat him like a member of their families.

A bedroom shared with another boy in the family or a private bedroom are acceptable, he said. Students in the program have health insurance, and Rotary provides them with a monthly allowance.

Prospective hosts must complete an application and consent to background checks of all family members age 18 or older. The student is scheduled to arrive in August, Ostbye said, and Rotary is on a tight schedule to identify hosts so his visa application and other paperwork can be completed on time.

More than 27,000 foreign high school students studied in the U.S. during the 2011-12 academic year as part of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, according to the U.S. State Department.

Westport families interested in hosting the student should email Fide Ostbye at fidesmo@aol.com or call him at 203-858 6694.