Overcrowding prevents foreign exchange students from visiting Lowcountry

Overcrowding prevents foreign exchange students from visiting Lowcountry

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Exchange student programs in the Lowcountry are running into issues. Not enough volunteers and overcrowded schools.

Over 1,300 students traveled using the International Cultural Exchange Services Travel Program this year.

But only two students made it to Beaufort County, even if it was their desired location.

The program is pushing for students to come to the Lowcountry. They say the southern culture and climate are in huge demand for the students coming here. The problem is, they don’t have enough host families. But in areas like Bluffton, they are running into another issue.

The organization says they need more families in Beaufort, but can’t accept families if they are districted for schools that are already overcrowded, like May River or Battery Creek.

The organization says they desperately need families in areas like Hilton Head and Beaufort. But for schools like May River in Bluffton, pacing students is almost impossible.

Christine Elaine is a coordinator for these students who travel from across the world to stay in America.

“It’s very difficult because of the numbers and overcrowding in the schools. Bluffton we have the same problem. So it’s very unfortunate that exchange students, that is the problem with the hosting. I have so many families that want to host, specifically in Bluffton, I have a handful of people from May River. And they can’t do it because May River is at capacity.”

The program is currently urging people to sign up for the new group of kids arriving as soon as January. They say hosting can change your life for good.

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