Host families come in many shapes and sizes including single parent families, families with and without children, empty nesters, and even single people. Host parents must be at least 25 years of age and be financially stable. Native English speaking families are preferred but any family who speaks English full time in their home regardless of nationality will be considered. We are looking for families that have a desire to learn about another culture, are flexible in their expectations, and can provide a supportive homestay environment to our students.
Absolutely! Some students feel more comfortable in a family with young children vs. a family with teenagers because the language pressures are lessened. Young children overlook grammatical mistakes and unconditionally accept their new “brother” or “sister.” Also, many students have younger siblings in their home country so having young children can also make your student feel more at home. We just ask that you be cognizant of study times and make sure it is quite during that time.
Depending on the program you select, it may be possible to select your student. Students who come for a summer program can be placed in a wider geographic area than students who come for the school year so there is more flexibility. Students who come for our school year program need to be located close to the school they have selected so that transportation is available to and from school. If you have a preference as far as gender or age is concerned, please discuss that with your Regional Coordinator and he/she will work with you to select the right student for your family.
Host families must provide their student with room and board and a warm, supportive, family atmosphere. Students must have their own bedroom and a quiet place to study. Sharing a room with a host brother or sister of the same age may be an option as we occasionally have students who request sharing a room. Please discuss this with your Regional Coordinator. Breakfast and lunch options should be available weekdays and most dinners during the week should be “family-style.” Students may opt to buy their lunch at school at their own expense. Host families should have an interest in their student’s academic and social life just as they would for their own children.
Students attending one of our summer programs stay for two or three weeks. Students who select our school year program, however, can stay for one semester (5 months) or an entire school year (10 months). All of our school year students return home in the summer.
All of our students are screened for English proficiency and most have studied English since they were quite young. However, Americans tend to speak very fast and use a lot of slang so students are often surprised that the English they hear in the USA is very difficult for them to understand. Give your student some time to adjust by speaking slower than normal and using simple sentences and in no time they will be conversing with you with confidence.
Yes, provided each student will have his/her own bedroom and the students are from different countries. We typically do not allow students from the same country to reside in the same home because they will speak their native language and their English will not improve. Exceptions are made at the parent’s request or in the case of an emergency move.
No, students are not permitted to have a job while on our program due to visa stipulations.
No. The liability issues surrounding students driving far outweigh the benefits. However, students may take Driver’s Education if it is offered by their school.
Maybe. Students are encouraged to attend religious services with their host family, however, we recognize that this is a personal decision for each student. Your student’s religious affiliation is indicated in their application. Please be respectful of his/her religious beliefs. If it is very important that your student attend church with you, please discuss this with your Regional Coordinator.
Yes! A Regional Coordinator is assigned to each host family and student and is available to assist you with questions, concerns, or problems at any time during your student’s stay.
Possibly. Our school year students come to the US on an educational F1 visa. This type of visa stipulates that the student has to attend a private school and pay tuition. The school must also be approved to issue the paperwork needed for students to apply for an F1 visa. If your children attend an approved private school, it is possible we can recruit a student specifically for that school. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child’s school is not one of our partner schools and we will reach out to them to see if they would like to be.
Absolutely! Many families who host students invite them to go on vacations with them. It is a fantastic opportunity for the student to experience more of the US while they are here. If your travel plans involve airfare or hotel charges, please discuss that with your Regional Coordinator in advance so we can obtain funds from the student’s natural parents. You will be expected to cover the cost of meals but your student will have his/her own spending money for souvenirs.
Yes. All students are fully covered by major medical insurance in the event of an illness or injury. Students will receive an ID card and a benefits booklet upon arrival in the US explaining their insurance benefits.