Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the benefits of homestay?
For international students, a homestay is the most affordable and rewarding housing option. The benefits go beyond the safety and convenience of home living to include lasting friendships with Americans. The benefits for English language development and American cultural exposure are excellent. Serious students and scholars benefit from the comfort of home living in an atmosphere well suited for learning.
- How can I sign up for a homestay?
Due to the popularity of the homestay program, it is important to apply as early as possible. The simple online application must be accompanied by a $285.00 Placement Fee. When both the Application and Placement Fee have been submitted, you will receive an official Homestay Confirmation Email containing host family information and complete arrival and orientation instructions.
Homestays are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. In cases where homestay space is not available, applicants will be notified and their Placement Fee will be refunded in full.
- What is the Homestay Confirmation Email?
This is very important. When we have received your completed Application and Placement Fee, we will send you a Homestay Confirmation Email containing: 1) your host family description, 2) airport pick-up information, 3) Orientation to Homestay details, and 4) the calculated Homestay Fee for your first full session, course, or rotation. You must read the email carefully, reply to let us know your arrival details, and print it for your records. It is a good idea to bring the printed email with you as you travel.
- What does the Placement Fee cover?
The Placement Fee covers the cost of processing applications and payments, carefully matching students with a host family, orienting students, recruiting and maintaining homestay hosts and homes, and all administrative overhead.
You can pay your placement fee online.
- Can married couples live in a homestay?
Yes! Married couples find homestay a perfect way to balance a sense of home with opportunities to practice English and make American friends. Couples are assigned a large private room with a double bed and two desks. Both husband and wife must complete their own Application and submit it with a combined Placement Fee of $435.00. For couples, the Homestay Fee is paid directly to the host at a rate of $52.00 per night.
- How long is the homestay commitment?
There is no minimum commitment, but homestays lasting fewer than four weeks are subject to availability. The Homestay Fee for the first four week session is due on move-in day. There are no refunds. Many students stay longer than one session and live in their homestay the entire time. If you wish to move out of homestay at the end of your first four week session, please tell your host and the Homestay Coordinator after two weeks so we can re-assign your room. You may not remain in homestay after the end of your academic program. Your move-out date is one day after your enrollment end date.
- What if I want to change my homestay?
This almost never happens. If there are unresolved conflicts between a student and host, the Homestay Coordinator can be included to help reach a peaceable agreement. If the student or host has willfully ignored the Homestay Agreement which both parties signed on move-in day, the other party may be permitted to dissolve it at the offender’s expense.
- What if I want to remain in my homestay longer than my first full session, course, or rotation?
If you follow the Homestay Agreement, your homestay is guaranteed for four weeks (28 nights). If you are still enrolled in your university and would like to stay in your homestay after four weeks, you may request an extension from your host. With the approval of the Homestay Coordinator, you may reserve your homestay by paying for the next four weeks.
Due to limited availability and the popularity of homestay, homestays may be extended for a total of six months. Any student wishing to extend beyond six months will need a special extension from the homestay coordinator. If an extension beyond six months is granted, a reenrollment fee of $195 will be required to continue in the same homestay.
- I'm planning to be away during my stay. What happens then?
Just as with any university housing or rental, room reservations are from move-in day to move-out day consecutively. If you choose not to eat meals or not to sleep in your room, you will need to continue paying according to schedule. Students who move out of homestay in good standing may return to the homestay program by applying through the website and paying the placement fee again. See our Non-Use Policy for more details.