Ellen Fox have you talked with Nicole at the RV Scholar's Academy so see if she could lend you any perspective? This is a neat idea, and I wonder if the magnet ACE at L.B. Nelson might also give you some inspiration.
I love this idea and feel that it doesn't take going across the globe or even the country to experience other cultures. I wonder how a project like this could build support, knowing that it's a very intensive time and life commitment. Maybe there's even a way of doing something like this with students in their home schools?!?