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5 Steps to Hosting

5 Steps to Hosting

 Step 1 Inquire  Apply copy     Step 2 Select Your Student copy    Step 3 Orientations copy     Step 4 Student Exchange Year copy     Step 5 Going Home copy


Step 1: Inquire & Apply

1. Application: Visit the "Ready to Apply" section to download the Host Family Application. Once you have downloaded the application, save it to your computer and fill out all sections. You can then return it to the Forte office by email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by fax at 703-237-0889.

2. Once your application is received a personal link will be sent to each person over 18 years of age via email to complete the Criminal Background check 

3. Forte will assign a Local Representative to guide you through the remainder of the application and student selection process. 


We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our exchange program.

To learn more, you may do any of the following:

-Call our national office in Falls Church, VA: 888-866-6869

-Email your questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The J-1 Visa international student exchange program is regulated by the U.S. Department of State (DoS). From the application process through student selection and during the program year, we are closely monitored by the DoS and we report to them regularly. Each step of the application process is designed to keep us in compliance with these regulations.

Thank you foryour support!

The application process includes:

1. Criminal Background Check (CBC)

2. Reference Check

3. Host Family Application

4. An In-Home Interview

5. Photos of the Family Home

A Forte Local Representative will mentor you through the application process and support you throughout the year.


Step 2: Select Your Student

Host Forte Exchange Students treeNow that your application process is complete, you are a vetted host family. Selecting a student is lots of fun, but it’s also something to think about. You will be selecting a new ‘son’ or ‘daughter’to join your family for the year. Consider your family’s interests, activities and lifestyle when selecting your student. The student's application includes a personal essay as well as many of the student’s interests and activities to help you make your decision.

Your Forte Local Representative can help you select the student that makes the best fit for your family.

Secondary School Student Host Family Appreciation Letter (March 2015) (PDF)

Step 3: Orientations

There are three mandatory orientations during the exchange year. These orientations provide important information about Forte, what to expect during the year and more information about our program, policies and procedures.

These orientations are:

-Pre-arrival: For the host family, we provide an orientation to help prepare you for the arrival of your exchange son or daughter.

-Post-arrival: For both the student and the host family, this orientation occurs within a month after your student arrives to help answer questions you may have and also provides an opportunity for your Forte Local Representative to review policies and program materials with your student.

-Pre-departure: For both the student and the host family, this orientation helps you both prepare for your student’s return home.

Step 4: Student Exchange Year

Your experience during this program year will be unique to you, though similar to others who have hosted in the past. You are joining a very special community and will enjoy telling your stories for years to come! From the moment you first connect, through the school year and until the return flight home, your family will provide a caring, supportive environment while sharing your traditions, culture and values with your exchange son or daughter.

Step 5: Going Home (Departure)

Leading up to your student’s departure can be an emotional time as you and your student imagine life without each other. However, for many host families and students, the relationship continues as you both keep in touch with each other to reminisce fondly about memories you created during the exchange year and build new ones from across the globe.

Going home (departure)