How would you like to experience the varied cultures of Ecuador, China, Germany, Brazil or Thailand?

If your checkbook doesn’t allow for that sort of extravagance then consider bringing those cultures into your home by hosting one or more high school exchange students for the upcoming school year.

James Gresham, host coordinator, is looking for five families in Stephenville and four in Dublin to provide room and board for students wishing to experience small town life in Texas.

Gresham said the host family is required to provide a room for the student but it can be shared with another of the same sex within four years of the exchange student’s age. He also said the students must be transported to and from school since none of them are allowed to drive in this country. The students come with their own money for entertainment and personal items, Gresham said. But something new for this year is a $300 allotment for each student.

“It’s a cultural activity fund that can be used toward any family activity,” Gresham said. “This allows families to do thing without an extra expense for the student.”

For example, Gresham said, the money could be used for trips to Six Flags or museum visits, and it would pay for the student’s portion of the expenses.

Gresham said prospective families are able to choose the student they want to share their home. He said the family will be able to look at pictures, profiles and personal letters written by the student in order to make a selection.

Hosting an exchange student provides families with a tax deduction, something that many do not know. It can provide travel credits when hosting students for two years or more. The travel credit is through Academic Year in America who already gets fantastic travel deals and rates, Gresham said.

“The credit covers a flight or a portion of the flight,” Gresham said. “The more you host the higher the portion.”

For more information visit the Web site www.academicyear.org or call James Gresham at (254) 592-5286.