Our homestay program is designed exclusively for our international visitors. Hosting International visitors is the best way to experience the world without leaving your home! Hosting provides families with the unique opportunity to share their cultures and learn about different cultures, while being in the comfort of their own homes. Many families host for the educational value and enrichment the experience brings to their own families. American customs and culture gain deeper meaning as host families introduce homestay participants to their own cultures. The insight and flexibility gained through hosting helps to prepare host families for our fast-changing, multicultural world. With this awareness comes an increased tolerance of the differences between people and a heightened appreciation of the similarities. Ultimately, the lasting friendships that are formed are perhaps the most valuable part of the experience.
Host families are the foundation of our homestay program. Our network of host families, comprised of retirees (“empty-nesters”), single parents, young couples and single individuals, represent the rich diversity in America. They have different religious practices, cultures, professions and ethnic backgrounds. While our host families have diverse backgrounds, they share the desire to open their home and hearts to international visitors. Moreover, they have a sincere desire to broaden their perspective of the world.
Our homestay participants are also rich in diversity, representing various age groups and nationalities. Just Like Home offers two programs to international visitors, including our Student Program and our Executive Program. Our Student Program is offered to language school and college students. Our Executive Program is offered to interns, medical and business professionals and scholars. They come from many different continents, including, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. The length of stay ranges from one week to six months; however, the average stay is approximately two months. Our homestay participants have a varying level of English proficiency and most have studied English for many years before their arrival.
One of our most important requirements for becoming a host family is the desire to open your home to an international visitor. Also, host families must be located in areas convenient to public transportation (bus and/or train). Joining our network of host families involves the following:
Upon receipt of your completed application, we will schedule a home visit, which is typically conducted during a weekday evening or on the weekend. During the home visit, we will inspect the available bedroom(s) and common living areas of your home and conduct an interview. You will be provided an orientation packet, including our Host Family Handbook and other materials.
After you have been accepted as a host family, you will be required to complete our Host Family Orientation prior to hosting a participant. Orientations may be conducted during the home visit, by telephone, after the home visit, or with a group of other host families.
Our homestay packages are comprehensive and are specially designed to make our participants feel at home while they are away from home. The packages include the following:
- Furnished private bedroom with private or shared bath
- Internet Access
- Access to television with cable
- Quiet areas for work or study
- Safe and clean home environment
- Laundry facility in the home
- Access to convenient and reliable public transportation
- Round-trip airport transportation (optional)
- Neighborhood tour and orientation
- Caring and friendly host family
- Choice of three meal plans