Living with my Host Family

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will the food be like?

    Homestay students are usually surprised at how much they enjoy the meals that Lyn prepares.  She enjoys preparing dishes that reflect having lived in many cultures of the world, and students are happy with both the variety and freshness. She likes to cook!  We look forward to trying the food from your country.  Please note: While we are able to accommodate some allergies or restrictions, our food is not halal.

  • Who does the student’s laundry and cleaning?

    Homestay students are responsible for their own laundry and cleaning. Most American families do not have domestic help. Therefore, it is normal for everyone in the home to help with some of the light housework as asked (e.g. washing dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning the shared bathroom, or sweeping after dinner). Homestay students are responsible for keeping themselves, their rooms, and their laundry clean.

  • May I use my host’s computers or printers?

    No. Hosts’ computer and printer equipment is personal property and cannot be used by homestay students.

    Your room will have internet access and most students bring a computer of their own. If you do not have your own computer or printer, you should ask your university or academic program about gaining access to a computer lab on campus.

  • What about transportation?

    The SEPTA is Philadelphia’s public transportation system, offering many options for smooth commuting both inside and out of Philadelphia. The Newbrander home is convenient to a bus, train, or trolley for use during the day and is walking distance to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. After dark, you should travel with a friend, use a taxi, or use one of the many campus transportation services available through your university or program. Students should take advantage of free bus loops, door-to-door shuttles, and walking escort services provided by their universities.

    We will carefully teach you the best transportation route from your homestay to your classes by taking you there on the first day. We are not responsible for providing transportation for you.

  • Will there be other international students in my homestay?

    Frequently, there is more than one international student living in a homestay. This can be a wonderful way to make a good friend. Remember: all homestays are English-only zones. Out of respect for everyone learning English, if two students speak the same native language, they will not be permitted to use that language in the homestay.

  • May I send my luggage ahead of me?

    No. We can not accept luggage ahead of the student’s arrival.

  • Are there rules in my homestay?

    Every family has rules about “how things work” at their house, like cleaning up after yourself, being considerate of others, and letting them know if you aren’t coming to a planned meal or activity. But you’ll find there is a lot of freedom in living in homestay!

  • Do you mix genders of students in homestay?

    Having all men or all women students in homestay makes everyone feel the most comfortable!

  • What about pets?

    The Newbranders do not have pets of their own, but they do have occasional visits from family members who bring pets (dogs and a cat) with them when they visit. Please be sure to let us know if you cannot live with pets as you will likely encounter them at some point.

  • Will I have chores in my homestay?

    Students keep all personal belongings in their rooms, with the exception of a shelf at the entrance for their shoes (slippers are worn in the house).  Common spaces need to be left tidied and personal items removed after using them. 

    All students agree to thoroughly clean the third-floor bathroom on rotation once every month since this bathroom is used exclusively by homestay students. Further, each student is expected to leave the bathroom clean for the next person. Cleaning supplies and laundry soap is provided.

    Homestay guests agree to keep their own rooms clean, to remove their laundry promptly from the laundry room, to keep food out of the bedrooms, and to leave the kitchen completely cleaned up after using it (all surfaces clean, all dishes and cleaning utensils washed, dried, and put away). Everyone appreciates a clean environment!