Foreign students in limbo without host families, education

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Host families needed for about 12 students

PHOENIX - Local families who thought they would have foreign exchange students for a few weeks say they are now stuck with these kids who have no where else to go.

No one seems to know because the state department regulations are clear that before foreign exchange students come to the United States their sponsoring agency needs to have housing and education secured for the year.

However that does not seem to be the case for about a dozen students in Phoenix, here by way of ASSE International or World Heritage Organization. They are sister programs who are bringing foreign students to America.

They have advertised online and in the newspaper, appearing to be in desperate need of host families. That is part of the reason why one family stepped up and responded to a mass email for help.

The family said yes to four weeks, but those four weeks have come and gone and 17-year-old Esther Cannard from France is still there and has nowhere else to go.

The Ledoux family has plans to move so they cannot keep Esther all year.

Esther is not alone. In fact, at least ten other students are in the same predicament and they are mad because these programs do not come cheap.

Esther's family paid 10,000 euros, which is almost $15,000, for this opportunity to study abroad.

The sponsoring agency ASSE International is headquartered in California. When 3TV spoke with one of their representatives Wednesday they told us they were unaware of any problems, claiming all their students are placed.

Calls and emails to their sister program, World Heritage, were not returned.

Again, because 3TV was not able to reach anyone familiar with these problems from either organization, we cannot tell you what they are doing to help these families.

For more information on ASSE International, you can call their Western office at (360) 577-9797 or email The ASSE Southwestern Regional Coordinator is Ingrid Masogayo.

For more information on World Heritage Student Exchange, call 1-800-888-9040 or go to .