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About Us

ARISE (Association Representing International Student Exchange) is a non-profit organization founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 2020, and its founders have over 25 years of experience in the field of cultural exchange on the high school level.  ARISE sponsors highly qualified international students, ages 14-18, and places them in fully screened and selected American host families and high schools for a semester or academic year.  ARISE has been designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor secondary school students in the J-1 visa program.  In addition, ARISE has been granted provisional listing with CSIET (Council on Standards for International Educational Travel.)

Everyone involved in ARISE's program, from our main office to our international partners and local area representatives strive to create the experience of a lifetime for the student and the host family.  Our host families are open and caring and treat the students, not simply as a guest, but as a true member of the family.  Students are encouraged to participate in the family's daily activities and to involve themselves in extracurricular activities at their school.  Our goal is to create lifelong relationships between the students and host families.




Born in Wisconsin, Ms. Bondell pursued her higher education studies at Arizona State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Latin American Studies, as well as minors in Sociology and Portuguese. Ms. Bondell has knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish and has 25 + years of experience in the field of cultural exchange.  She was one of the founders of OCEAN, a cultural program started in 1994. As the Special Services Director, she was responsible for administering the program and maintaining partnerships with international partners and area representatives.  She remained up-to-date on current affairs, as well as U.S. Department of State regulations.. The COVID-19 crisis was a difficult moment for many around the world, especially to study abroad programs. This lead to Ms. Bondell's separation from OCEAN. Despite the challenges, it opened doors to new opportunities; thus, leading to her decision to open ARISE with her business partner and friend, Mrs. Nayara Dixon.  Ms. Bondell has deep appreciation for the cultural exchange program and has hosted exchange students from Brazil, China and Thailand. As the President of  ARISE, she is the perfect person to fulfill the organization’s mission and to bring cultural unity between international students and the people of the United States. Ms. Bondell loves animals and enjoys traveling, cooking and serving her community. (602) 641-9699 Ext 3.

Laura Bondell



Born in Fortaleza, Brazil, Mrs. Dixon came to the United States as a high school exchange student in 2003. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and has knowledge of Spanish. She attended Arizona State University and pursued two Bachelor's Degrees in the field of secondary education. She continued her studies at Arizona State University earning two master's degrees focused on social and cultural pedagogy and non-profit management. Mrs. Dixon passion and enthusiasm for international education and cultural exchange has been part of her since the first day she arrived in the United States. After graduating with her second Masters Degree, she was hired to work at OCEAN. She worked at the organization from 2010 to 2020 managing different tasks from recruiting international students, supervising students and host families during the school year and so much more. As the program manager at ARISE, she will continue to devote her knowledge and energy to helping students fulfill their dreams as high school students in the United States, as well as making sure host families have a positive experience. Mrs. Dixon loves to travel, volunteer, and bake. She loves to spend time with her family and friends. 

E-mail:  Phone: (602) 641-9699 ext 4

Nayara Dixon

Woman on Phone

Located throughout the U.S.

Area Representative: The area representative is a person hired by ARISE as an independent contractor who serves as the contact person for the student and his/her host family.  The area representative is involved with recruiting host families, as well as maintaining contact with the student and host family throughout the exchange program. The area representative is also responsible for providing the student with an orientation and acting as a support person for the student and host family if any problems arise. The area representative is compensated by ARISE for his/her services and is required to complete all the proper training to qualify as a member of the organization. It is in the student's best interest that the area representative be used as his/her first contact towards solving problems or correcting any difficulties that he/she may be having.

Area Representatives

Confident Woman

Located around the World

International Representative:  The international representative is a person or company in the student's home country that is responsible for recruiting and screening students that wish to participate in ARISE’s cultural exchange program. International representatives are not employed by ARISE and have their own fees and contracts with the students and their natural parents.  The international representative acts as a connection between ARISE and the natural parents while the student is participating in our program in the United States. The international representative is responsible for screening, selecting, and coordinating all international exchange students in their home country, providing them with an orientation and translating all the materials for the natural parents.  He/she follows ARISE’s guidelines, thereby assisting all participants in the adaptation process.   


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