Become a Homestay Host

INSIGHT

The top five destinations for international high school students in order of preference are regarded as

  1. United States,
  2. United Kingdom,
  3. Canada,
  4. Australia,
  5. New Zealand.

[Source: i-graduate ICEF Agent Barometer 2011]

Become a Homestay Host

Bow Homes May 2013 - Exterior-011

Do you have a heart for young people? Do you seek to supplement your income? If you have both motivations and a suitable space at home, then you could be an ideal Homestay Host.

What is "Homestay"?

Homestay is a term used to describe full board accommodation offered by a family or a couple for which a set weekly fee is charged. This fee covers all expenses associated with providing food and shelter to an international student. This includes providing:

  • A single room for the student’s use
  • Three meals a day, seven days a week
  • Facilities – a bed, wardrobe, towels and linen
  • Utilities – gas, electricity, heating and water costs
  • Cleaning services of common living areas
  • Use of living areas within residence
  • Study facilities – desk, study light, bookcase.

Why do it?

Sharing your home with a person from another culture will mean that you and your family will get to know habits, expectations and practices that are different to your own.  A new perspective can be expected from making comparison between the way you live and the way that your student has been living.  This understanding cannot be gained through either a brief meeting with a person from overseas or by browsing on the internet at details about his or her's country.

Financially you may also benefit.  Whilst there are costs involved in feeding and housing your student you are likely to gain from the weekly amount paid to you.  This typically is an amount of USD $190 per week.  You will need to note that you may be subject to tax on the profit that is made from receiving this income.

Remember that the student also will be developing an understanding of you and your way of life. They are likely to be motivated to come to study in the United States in order to gain qualifications in an English speaking country that could greatly increase their future employment opportunities. Students also come to the United States to gain from the cultural experience of living and studying in a country other than their own. Attending high school is seen as an important starting point in this process.

Expectations

Homestay hosts and their families are expected to provide a safe and comfortable environment for their international student.  Whilst they do not become substitute parents or guardians in the legal sense they do have responsibilities of care and provision.

The host family is responsible for:

  • looking after the student in their home to the best of their ability
  • a safe and friendly living and studying environment
  • treating the student with respect
  • making the student feel comfortable and part of the family
  • advising the school if the students seems very homesick or depressed
  • notifying the school if there are any changes or additions to the household
  • notifying the school immediately if there are any problems with the student; eg medical condition, misbehaviour

Host families are not expected to:

  • pay for mobile or toll calls
  • cook special food
  • offer accommodation to visiting relatives or friends
  • insure the students goods or pay for property the student damages or loses
  • comply with unreasonable requests
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