North County will host 148 foreign students in July and August

One-hundred and forty-eight students will descend onto the North County this summer for two, three and four weeks this July and August to improve their English and learn about American culture through Education First’s Educational Homestay Programs. Students from China, France, Hong Kong and Italy will arrive on July 18 and 25 with departures on August 6 and August 13.

“The EF programs on our Central Coast give such a unique view of life lived in California,” North County International co-Site Director Candice Hubbard said. “Students that join us not only get to experience larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, they get to see coastlines that are not littered with people and trash, agriculture that helps feed our country and a slower pace of life.”

Buses will transport students each weekday from San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Santa Margarita, Atascadero, San Miguel and Paso Robles to the study center at Templeton Middle School.

Host families are vital to the experiences the students have while abroad. The host families provide a safe and comfortable environment for students and the students get the best experience abroad as possible.

“It is so much fun teaching our students about the culture of the Central Coast with our good food, slower paced lifestyle, outdoor living, and so much more,” Hubbard said.

Co-Site Directors Heather Young and Hubbard will lead the program. Program leaders include Cody Elmer, Whittney Jackson, Kristin Thompson and Trudy Onings. The program still needs one program leader to work various times during the program. To find out more, email efnorthcounty@gmail.com.

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“Not only do we get to share our Central Coast lifestyle with them, they get to share their home culture with us,” Hubbard said. “It’s like traveling without the cost of airfare. What a fun way to connect with others around the world.”

Host families come in all shapes and sizes and we welcome such diverse families as single-parent households, empty-nesters, and families with small or grown children.

“It was a great experience for our family,”

Erica DeLaPaz said. “We met a wonderful young lady who was full of life and loved learning. She didn’t hesitate to ask questions regarding culture and our way of life. She also shared with us about her country and customs. Information we all shared is something you cannot learn from a textbook.”

Students will get English and cultural lessons with a full activities program that they will take part in every day and some evenings, along with optional excursions on the weekends.

Bertil Hult founded EF in 1965. Hult was determined to develop a method of English through action learning. He took a small group of Swedish junior high students to the South Coast of England to live the language — encouraging them to use their classroom language skills in real-life situations and acquire authentic accents through contact with native speakers their own age.

“Hosting an exchange student is such a wonderful experience,” Linda Napoli said. “It’s difficult to describe since every time is different but we get to meet such wonderful people and learn about how people in other parts of the world live.”

Educational Homestay Programs is a nonprofit program under the EF umbrella. The families that host through this program volunteer their time and homes to welcome students from around the world to the area.

To learn more, contact Hubbard at (805) 602-8153 or email efnorthcounty@gmail.com.

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