Sunset HomestaysFor three weeks next month, Sunset Homestays is bringing French and Spanish high school students to the U.S. to learn about American culture. Central Coast families are invited to share their home with a visiting high school exchange student from July 12 – 30. Host families have the unique opportunity to learn about the student’s culture, and share the beauty of the Central Coast with a young traveler during this mutually rewarding exchange.

Since 2007, this collaboration between Sunset Homestays, based in San Luis Obispo, and Nacel, based in France, has developed enriching, lifelong relationships for European students and their hosts. Host families have found that hosting an exchange student is a fantastic way to experience the world and make friends from abroad without leaving home.

“It was a pleasure to have Mireia here,” said first time host mother Marcy Almaguer. “We didn’t expect to become as attached as we did. We were sad to see Mereia leave and we hope to have her as part of our lives for ever.”

Sunset Homestays will help families find the ideal student for their home. Students are ages 15 to 18 and arrive with full medical insurance, spending money, and the hopes of experiencing life in America through the eyes of a caring host family. Families without children at home are encouraged to host a group chaperone, such as 27 year old Carlos, a primary school teacher and sports enthusiast from Spain.

Host families provide a room (shared or private), and meals, and are compensated $400. Families should include their foreign guest in routine tasks like grocery shopping or planned trips to area events, the beach, and shopping.

By hosting an exchange student, you and your family will help build bridges of intercultural understanding while connecting with an outstanding young person, and sharing your community.

To learn more about hosting an exchange student, call Jessica Michelsen at (805) 439-0862, or email Visit Sunset Homestays on the web at