LMP Shifts to Homestay Program

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The majority of international students that attend LMP are a part of the homestay program.

Kaylyn Phung, Staff Writer

Lake Mary Prep’s dormitories are no longer available for international students this year. As a result, international students will now be placed with host families in the local area with the aid of Exchange Mate service company. Due to high demand, matching a student with a local family is taking longer than usual. However, administration has been striving to actively place international students within LMP families.

Mrs. Cortney Dowdle, Director of Admissions and International Programs, is directly involved in the process and works with students overseas. Dowdle stated that the current situation is looking good, as she was able to assist many kids and received positive feedback.

“We have a lot of new students who don’t attend the golf academy as well as the returning dorm students doing homestay programs this year. There are many challenges, but I think we are helping students to have a more American experience compared to last year,” said Dowdle.

Dowdle expressed difficulty spreading awareness to the community about the homestay program. It’s not common for schools in Lake Mary to have such significant need for accommodations for international students, especially during the pandemic. She stated that outreach to the community is needed. Students have also expressed to Dowdle how different the homestay program is compared to living in the dorms. 

“There are a lot of students who prefer to live and spend time together in the dorms. However, those who have experienced boarding school may feel very different this year, so I think there are both pluses and minuses,” said Dowdle. 

Junior Khoa Nguyen stayed at the dormitory last year and is currently staying with a  host family. Besides some of the drawbacks mentioned, he enjoys staying with his host family and the benefits it brings. 

“I prefer homestay over the dorms since I get to have a sense of traditional American culture and an actual family. However, I miss spending the whole day with my friends at the dorms,” said Nguyen. 

LMP administration hopes to spread the word about the program and further develop it in the future.