Institutions that offer student exchange programs are providing local coordinators jobs from home. This job may not be as popular, but one thing’s for sure — it’s ideal for people who are passionate about helping foreign students feel at home in a foreign land.
The United States is perhaps one of the most ideal places among foreign exchange students. It’s very evident in the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, which was mentioned in an article published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
In the article, it says that “The number of international students in the United States set an all-time high in the 2018/19 academic year, the fourth consecutive year with more than one million international students.”
During the 2018/19 academic year, the total number of international students who opted to study in the United States is 1,095,299, which is a 0.05 percent increase over the previous year.
Furthermore, the report says that international students make up 5.5 percent of the total higher education population in the country. More so, they have contributed $44.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018 alone.
You see, the numbers are significant. Thus, it is not surprising that more and more institutions are focusing on offering student exchange programs because the industry provides a lot of opportunities.
But along with such demand comes the need to hire more local coordinators who are particularly assigned to look for families who are willing to host foreign exchange students.
Yes, for those who are not familiar with how foreign exchange programs go, host families are needed as part of the whole experience of a foreign exchange student. By living with a host family, they get to experience how life is lived by people in the country. Through their host families, they get to learn more about American culture and values.
Now, finding host families is no easy task, thus, the need for local coordinators.
Does this job sound strange to you? Well, guess what? You are in the perfect place as we are going to tell you more about what a local coordinator job is all about.
In particular, we are going to tackle the following:
- What is a local coordinator?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of a local coordinator?
- Who qualifies to be a local coordinator?
- How much does a local coordinator make?
- How to become a local coordinator?
- Where to find local coordinator jobs?
WHAT IS A LOCAL COORDINATOR?
First of all, it is just right that before we even talk about the technicalities of the job, you learn about what exactly a local coordinator is.
Generally speaking, a local coordinator is an independent contractor whose job is to go out into the community, do school and church visits, as well as get in touch with various youth programs in order to find families who are interested to open their homes to become host families for foreign exchange students.
If you haven’t heard about what hosting international exchange students is all about, here’s a video by TMJ4 News, which we thought provides a good overview of it:
Apart from finding a safe place for foreign exchange students to live in while in the program, local coordinators also act as a point person as well as a mentor to the students while they are here in the United States.
In addition, they may also be tasked to provide support and assistance not only to students but to the host families as well should there be any challenges.
As you can see, a local coordinator’s job is vital because finding a family to host a foreign exchange student is very crucial. Having host families to welcome foreign students will make a big impact in a student’s overall experience.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LOCAL COORDINATOR?
We mentioned a few roles and responsibilities in the previous section. However, in this section, we are going to be more in-depth.
If you are planning to work as a work from home local coordinator for foreign exchange students, it is important that you fully know and understand what’s expected of you. This is also vital in order for you to be able to do the job well.
As a local coordinator for foreign exchange students, your roles and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Recruiting families to host foreign exchange students. This is the primary role and responsibility of a local coordinator. To be able to recruit families, you have to have or build a network in your community, and other communities as well. As mentioned earlier, you can visit schools, churches, as well as get in touch with youth organizations to be able to find potential host families.
- Screening/Assessing of host families. As a local coordinator, you also are expected not only to find but the screen and/or assess the potential host family as well. You have to ensure that every foreign exchange student lives in a safe and nurturing environment while they are away from home.
- Facilitating student and host family orientations. To ensure that both parties get to have a successful experience, it is your role as a local coordinator to facilitate both students and host family orientations. The orientation is also a good venue for you to explain what the whole program is about and what is expected of them.
- Providing ongoing support to both students and host families. As a local coordinator, your job does not end once the student has already settled in his or her host family. You have to still communicate with them as well as the host family regularly to check how they are, and if they need any assistance especially if there are challenges that need to be settled.
- Building and maintaining strong relationships with host families, as well as the community. It is also part of your job to ensure that you maintain a good relationship with the host family and the community. That way, it’s going to be easy to recruit host families or encourage previous host families to host again.
These are just some of the most common roles and responsibilities of a local coordinator for foreign exchange students. Please take note that every institution has its own requirements. Thus, it is always best to check with your prospect to be sure that you are good with the responsibilities that will be handed to you as a local coordinator.
WHO QUALIFIES TO BE A LOCAL COORDINATOR?
So, you already know what a local coordinator is, and you also have an idea about its basic roles and responsibilities.
This time, in this section, we are going to talk about the qualifications that institutions are looking for when hiring a local coordinator for foreign exchange students.
If you are looking for local coordinator jobs, it is important that you have an idea about the requirements for the job so you can easily assess yourself if you are perfect for it.
With that said, here are some of the qualifications of a local coordinator:
- At least 25 years of age. Although not all, most organizations we found require its local coordinators to be at least 25 years old. Unfortunately, we did not find the reason behind the preferred age. But, we thought your maturity in handling the job is a big part of it.
- Must have a clean criminal background. As a local coordinator, your job involves talking to people particularly families, and encourage them to host foreign students. In order for you to do that, you have to be someone who is not or have never been involved in anything criminal.
- Must be someone who loves traveling and learning new cultures. As a local coordinator, you will also have to deal with the students themselves. Since these students are coming from different places in the world, you have to make sure you learn about their cultures and values to be able to connect them with the right host family.
- Must be outgoing and friendly. You need to build a network. You need to recruit host families. These are only possible if you are friendly and outgoing. Makes sense?
- Must love working with young people. Most foreign exchange students are teenagers. As a local coordinator, you must have that passion to work with this age range. Otherwise, this might not be the right job for you.
- Must have excellent communication skills. In order to be able to do your job right, having excellent communication skills is a must.
Every institution or organization does have its own set of requirements, and what we have provided are just some of them. Basically, the most common of all. Again, to be sure, you have to check each potential organization that you are planning to send an application to and see if you are the person they’re looking for.
Also, it is important to note that most organizations offer various training for their local coordinators as well as ongoing support, which is good because this helps you better understand what your job requires.
HOW MUCH DOES A LOCAL COORDINATOR MAKE?
Of course, knowing your potential income is very important before looking for local coordinator jobs.
Here’s the thing, local coordinator’s earning depends on factors like the company you are working for, your experience and expertise, and in most cases, it depends on the number of students you have placed.
However, to give you an idea, according to the International Cultural Exchange Services, normally, a local coordinator may earn roughly $8,000 a year. If you are motivated, though, you can double up your earning.
Apart from the compensation, most companies also provide incentives, travel bonuses, as well as opportunities for advancement.
HOW TO BECOME A LOCAL COORDINATOR?
To become a local coordinator does not require specific educational attainment or work experience. In most cases, as long as you fit the requirements for the job, companies will take you in.
Each company or organization does have its own process on how you get to become a local coordinator.
In most cases, you simply have to visit the company website and see the latest job offerings. Once you see an opening for a local coordinator post, you can immediately send your application, or follow the process as stated.
Don’t worry, unlike other work from home jobs, local coordinator jobs do not require certain training or certification. Again, as long as they believe you fit for the position, they will take you in.
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL COORDINATOR JOBS?
Now, we reached this part wherein we are going to provide you with options as to where you can find local coordinator jobs in the country.
If by now you have decided already that you want to try out this work from home job, then, here is a list of companies that you may want to send an application to:
Academic Year in America (AYA)
Academic Year in America was established in 1981. It is a non-profit organization that “supports cultural exchange to foster global citizenship and break down barriers to international understanding“.
AYA is considered “one of the largest and most respected high school homestay programs in the United States“.
AYA particularly looks for local coordinators who are 25 years or older. As an AYA local coordinator, you get to earn financial compensation for every full year international student placed and supervised. In addition, you will also get to enjoy certain incentives, as well as international and domestic travel bonuses.
AYA is a well-trusted company having an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Aspect Foundation is a small non-profit organization that was established in 1985. It offers affordable study-abroad opportunities to students from different parts of the world.
The company continues to live by its mission, which is to provide “a variety of outstanding educational and cultural exchange programs both in the United States and countries abroad“.
Similar to the previous one, the Aspect Foundation also requires its local coordinator applicants to be at least 25 years old. Local coordinators receive compensation with a stipend for every student that they are able to place and supervise. Additionally, opportunities for bonuses, as well as incentive training trips may also be availed.
EF Education First
EF Education First is also a non-profit organization that was established in 1965. From then up to now, the organization continues to live by its mission “to open the world through education“.
EF Education First continues to “strive to create the opportunity for a life-changing cultural exchange for students, host families, and schools regardless of gender identity, race, sexual orientation or religion“.
All local coordinators working under EF Education First receive monetary rewards, travel opportunities, networks as well as receive continuous support through online and print resources.
To become a local coordinator for the organization, you must be at least 25 years of age.
Established in 1986, STS Foundation is a non-profit organization that is “dedicated to providing educational and memorable exchanges for young people wishing to visit the United States“.
Having more than 30 years of professional experience, the organization is considered a leader in the field of international education as well as cultural exchanges.
Local coordinators may receive up to $1,000 for every student placed and supervised for the full program year.
Also, similar to the other organizations, you may also get to earn international travel incentives.
As stated on its website, “STS Foundation is approved by the Department of State, accredited by CSIET, The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel.”
Educational Resource Development Trust (ERDT)
Established in 1974, the Educational Resource Development Trust (ERDT) has since been “successfully involved in working with international students — both individually and in groups — for short-term and long-term educational and homestay programs“.
Working as an independent local coordinator for the organization, which by the way they call as Exchange Program Coordinator (EPC), allows you to earn between $650 and $1,300 for every student that you have placed in a host family and high school. The compensation depends on the length of stay of the student, as well as the total number of students placed.
Furthermore, cash awards, points, gifts, gift certificates, as well as rewards related to personal goal achievements are also provided.
Formerly known as the Center for Cultural Interchange or CCI, Greenheart Exchange was established in 1985, and has grown to what it is today — working with more than 60 countries from all over the world to facilitate cultural exchange opportunities.
Currently, Greenheart Exchange is proud to have facilitated 284,000 exchange students, involved 12,000 host families, and represented over 100 countries worldwide.
To become a local coordinator for Greenheart, you must be at least 26 years old.
Local coordinators may earn up to $1,000 for every exchange student placed and monitored throughout the year. You may also opt to become a Group LC and earn between $2,000 and $5,000 per group. Travel discounts may also be enjoyed.
International Cultural Exchange Services
The International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES) was established in 1991. Since then, the company has become a leader in the field of youth exchange.
ICES continuously recruit local coordinators. As one, you are entitled to receive monetary compensation just like the other organizations.
Also, local coordinators under ICES similarly receive other benefits like local and international group trips.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FINDING LOCAL COORDINATOR JOBS
Local coordination jobs for foreign exchange students may not be a popular work from home job, but it certainly is something worth trying out especially if you love networking, the youth, and you have the passion to make every exchange student have a blissful stay while in the country.
More so, becoming a local coordinator is an ideal work from home jobs for those who want to earn not just monetary but travel incentives, too.
How do you find this job? Do you find yourself working as one?