My third year as a local coordinator for exchange students

In the spring of 2015 I was scrolling down my laptop to find a part-time, any job that would keep me busy. I was then working as a school custodian where my work schedule started early in the morning until 1 p.m. My goal was to find myself out of boredom between my job and my whole afternoon, from Monday to Friday. Then I came up with this job ad looking for an Area Representative. (Actually, I have a whole chapter of this in my book, Pesos to Pennies!) I was excited when I got a response after I sent an email inquiry. The training and the materials came so quickly. I had to take an assessment test to get my certificate as a local coordinator.

This morning, I took a test and I’m happy to get my SPARC (Secondary School Student Program Annual Renewal of Certification) that’s good for one year (we have to renew it every year). The great thing about this job is the job itself. I love the experiences and memories I make not only with the students and host parents, but also the placement process. It’s interesting to know how many organizations out there trying to place students from all over the world.

Too many!

The challenging part is finding host families. In our program, we are finding volunteer hosts that would be willing to let these students stay at their home for a year. I go to churches and business to drop off flyers. I call organizations to ask if they could help me. I post on businesses’ Facebook accounts to see if I will get a response. I email businesses on their websites. I try to do everything to make this placement possible for someone who’s interested to know what the high school education feels like in this country.

My job is to check with the students each month by meeting them in-person or calling them to make sure everything’s doing good, at school or at home. I am so glad to be doing this again for the third time, and hopefully everything turns out great!




  1. Barbara says:

    That’s awesome I was an area Rep for 16 years and loved it and had so many students placed and 13 hosted in my family throughout the years good luck and it does give great memories and I loved making dreams come true!

    • Gladys says:

      I’m really grateful for families who opened their doors to these students. This job leaves a great memories and I’m so happy I’m part of this. Thank you for commenting, Barb!

Comments are closed.