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Host families sought

A group bringing 10 international students to attend Mulberry High School is on the search for host families.

Educatius International is looking for both welcome and permanent families to host 10 students - six girls and four boys - from Brazil, Germany, Vietnam, China and Thailand who will be attending Mulberry High School during the 2014-15 school year.

Educatius places exchange students in schools and with host families throughout the world. As part of the organization’s program, students sign up to attend a small-town, rural American school such as Mulberry, said Jennifer Annes, regional manager for Educatius.

“There’s some culture shock; it’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Annes said. “But they love small towns because they are kind of celebrities a little bit. Everyone wants to get to know them.”

Annes is looking for area families with which to place the students, she said. She needs permanent families to house the students for the school year, but also welcome families to take them in for up to 50 days while permanent families are located.

Families must provide a room that the student can share with another exchange student or a child within three years of age of the student, transportation to school, and food.

A stipend will be provided to help with any additional costs and students will have their own spending money, Annes said.

This is the second year Mulberry School District has worked with Educatius to bring exchange students, said Superintendent Dana Higdon.

“It is absolutely amazing what they bring in terms of their culture,” Higdon said of the exchange students. “For a small school district with little diversity, they’re just a treasure. They do very well and seem to have a good time when they’re here.”

Though there was no problem finding families for the students last year, Higdon said it is important for families to sign up soon.

“We’re getting close to the beginning of school and if these kids are going to be able to come, we do need families for them,” Higdon said.

Students will be arriving about a week prior to the start of school, which begins Aug. 18.

Educatius also will have a booth at the Crawford County Fair in an attempt to locate good host families for the students, she said.

For more information or to volunteer as a host family, contact Annes at (385) 204-2259 or jennifer.annes@educatius.org.

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