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"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."   Dr. Suess


By Jerry Curry, Staff Writer

There are several groups that assist with high school exchange students in the United States. Participating students come from countries all over the world. Information on three agencies that arrange for exchange students in the southern Indiana region follows.

Anne Garner Offutt, coordinator for C.I.E.E., is excited to provide information. C.I.E.E. stands for Council on International Education Exchange. Offutt lives in New Albany. She has placed students in several local high schools in the greater Louisville area. Presently Offutt’s seventeen-year-old daughter is in Japan.
In Washington County, she has placed a sixteen-year-old female from Brazil in West Washington High School. Offutt says small schools are usually better.

Many come with the image the students see on TV shows like “High School.”

Offutt hosted one student and felt badly when she placed the student in the smallest bedroom. She was surprised when the student said, “I get this whole room to myself.”  

Before coming to the U.S., the students must past a minimum English test.

There are approximately four hundred students waiting for a host home. Many apply, but only 3% are able to participate. The foreign students are eager to learn and come fully prepared. The students get $125 from the American Council and must have medical insurance.

Senator Richard Lugar started a fully funded program for foreign exchange students from Muslin countries.  

Offutt also said there are two types of visas in the student program that they deal with.  A J-1 visa is for participation in an exchange program, including high school and universities. It is usually good for one year. The other is a F-1 Visa which allows the student to study at an accredited college or to study English at an English language institute for a longer period.

Offutt would love to place more foreign students in the Salem area. She can be reached on Facebook or call 502-592-3204. The exchange program is ideal for the student and host to learn about the other countries.

The second group is I.E. This stands for International Experience. The coordinator is Veronica Lindley, a teacher at East Washington High School and a Salem resident.

She has placed Anna Krimm from Mainz, Germany with a family in Pekin. Anna is 16 years old and in the 10th grade at East Washington High School. I spoke with her on the phone, and she can speak very good English. When asked how she learned it, she said in school, and her friends speak English together.  Her favorite subject is math.

Exchange students experience all of the events an American student has including prom, team sports and band. In fact, Anna recently won a silver award at a state band solo and ensemble contest. She won with a solo performance on the flute. She plans to have a career in mathematics or science research.

The third group is CETUSA, this stands for Council for Educational Travel U.S.A. The coordinator for this group is Diane Yows of Fishers, IN. She is in charge of the state of Indiana. Presently she has no students in Washington County, but has placed a student in Jeffersonville who goes to Jeffersonville High School.

All three groups have energetic coordinators, who are ready to talk with local residents about being a host family. Students come with insurance and spending money. All must pass a minimum English test. All a host does is provide a nice home and extra plate at the table. The students are usually here for one year on the J1 visa.

Being a host is pretty simple. You do not have to have children in high school, can be single parent etc. The requirement is providing a room, bed and a caring spirit. The agencies can place students anywhere that there is a willing host. These students tend to be outgoing over-achievers.

The best way to contact the agencies is on their Facebook pages, where you can also take a look at the students who are interested in residing in another country.

As a host you and your student will learn customs of another country and build lasting friendships.

Local News

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Business News

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Symbiotic Success: Small Businesses and Their Communities

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The Mill Catalyzes Entrepreneurial Growth through Indiana Uplands Accelerator

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Obstacles Facing Small Businesses in the Modern Economy

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Sports News


Government News

IN AG Sends Out $8.8 Million In Next Round Of Opioid Settlement Funds To Hoosier Communities

17 May 2024

  Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is dispensing more than $8.8 million to Indiana cities, towns and counties in the next round of opioid settlement funds distributed under his leadership.  Attorney General Rokita and his team secured these settlements from companies that allegedly contributed to the state’s opioid epidemic through ...

IN AG Warns College Officials: Hateful Antisemitic Acts Against Jewish Students Will Not Be Tolerated On Campus

15 May 2024

  Following months of campus protests sometimes featuring troubling anti-Jewish propaganda, Attorney General Todd Rokita warned college officials they are duty-bound to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by combating all forms of antisemitism on their campuses — or risk losing their federal funding. "My team and I are dee ...

Crown Hill Could See Natural Burials

15 May 2024

  By Becky Killian, Staff Writer Officials have taken the first step that could allow a section of Crown Hill Cemetery to be set aside for natural burials. The decision was made during the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Salem Common Council. Brock and Carrie Chastain, of Weathers Funeral Home, requested the changes necessary to allow natura ...

City, County Dispatch Could Merge

15 May 2024

  By Becky Killian, Staff Writer   Salem officials have approved an agreement that would allow the merger of the city’s dispatch department with the county’s 911 center.The unanimous vote was held during the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Salem Common Council. All members were in attendance. Mayor Justin Green explained that weeks’ wo ...

Houchin Introduces Legislation to Break Down Barriers to Higher Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

10 May 2024

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10 May 2024

  After state Rep. Mike Speedy raised the issue, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita this week produced an advisory opinion clarifying that neither state nor federal law requires a coworker to use the preferred pronouns and names of fellow employees.  An employer therefore is likely not liable in cases where staff members choose not to ...

IDVA Grants Available For Non-Profits That Serve Veterans: Apply by May 15

03 May 2024

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) will award grant money to non-profit organizations throughout the state that assist veterans with a variety of services. Solicitation for awards through the Grants for Veterans Services (GVS) is now open through May 15, 2024. Eligible applicants must be a non-profit organization regis ...

Lifestyle News

Latest Washington County Mugshots

The following individuals were arrested recently by local law enforcement agencies. Those listed, in most cases, are just facing charges at this point, and are to be considered innocent of those charges unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Charges are often dropped or lessened. Mugshots are collected from local law enforcement agencies on Mondays and are public records. 


Gavinn M. Fields
Terena S. Wheat
Brenda S. Warren
William M. Rose
Justin N. Brooks
William J. Wright
Gregory D. Lammers
Darrin W. Mitchell
Mikel S. Cleek
Tyran D. McMillian
Jon A. Arnold
Robert L. Bentel