AmeriStudent makes it easier and safer to study abroad – for both students and their host families. We believe that studying abroad is an opportunity for students to have a more enriching and dynamic cultural experience. And as a host, you are gaining invaluable knowledge, as well. Using search criteria that considers location, amenities, size of family, and more, our platform creates an ideal match for both students and host families. In turn, this improves the host’s experience, it allows the student to feel more accommodated, and it eases any worries that the student’s family might have back home. Basically, we are revolutionizing the study abroad experience and bringing it into the 21st century.
Of course, we want to make sure that our hosts are accommodated, as well. We know that overhead costs and maintenance expenses can rise as a result of introducing a new temporary member to your family. For this reason, we will provide an agreed upon monthly stipend to cover these expenditures. You will receive your stipend in a timely manner and the remuneration will be prorated accordingly if the student arrives on an irregular date during the first month of his or her stay. By speaking with one of our representatives, the stipend amount can be discussed in greater detail.
Indeed, one of our main priorities is safety. By law, we are required to complete background checks for all study abroad students aged 18 and older. We want to ensure that the hosting experience is safe and secure, so host families will know exactly who they are inviting into their homes. We know that your home is your castle, so we don’t want you to feel insecure about hosting someone you aren’t sure you can trust.
Do you have a warm and inviting family? Is your home clean, organized, and comfortable? Do you enjoy bringing new people into your home? Would you make a concerted effort to make someone from a foreign country feel more at ease? If you answered yes to any, or all, of those questions, you would make a perfect host. We invite families from all walks of life to try their hand at hosting international students. We want our platform to include a wide spectrum of families – families with different religious beliefs, races, creeds, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We don’t want to exclude any families who believe they can be amazing hosts.
Typically, you will host a student for a full academic school year, which is usually between nine and ten months. Of course, international students may return back home for certain holidays or family events, and these breaks could last up to two weeks. For instance, students may return home to their families for Christmas, and there may also be a summer break, as well. Whatever the circumstances, we will provide you with more details before you agree to host a particular student.
Yes, all students will receive the necessary documentation to study abroad. More specifically, they will receive an F-1 student visa, which will allow them to visit the country while they are studying. Students will also receive a Form I-20, which is otherwise known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status-For Academic and Language Students. This form will have more details about the school where they are studying and how long they plan on staying in the country. A student will need this information to legally live and study in this country – and you will need it to legally host the student.
A lot of your responsibilities will be pretty clear. Since you are boarding the student, you must furnish a clean room with a bed, plenty of light, a desk, a chair, and a dresser or closet. You must also provide three meals a day – except when or if the academic institution provides them. You must also provide an internet connection and access to the web. If the educational institution doesn’t offer transportation, you may need to arrange travel to and from campus. Needless to say, you must also create a supportive and welcoming environment, one in which you are open-minded and accepting of the student’s worldviews and perspectives. For the student to have a successful academic year, he or she must feel accepted in your home.
When your student first arrives, you should go over any rules that you have in your home. For instance, if you don’t allow shoes inside, you need to be clear about this. If you want music off at a certain hour, you need to be very straightforward. Of course, the student you host should be courteous, respectful, and willing to take part in any household chores. This would include the student keeping his or her room clean and tidy. The student should also try to get into the routine of your family’s daily life. If you are trying to save energy and water, your study abroad student should be mindful of this fact. Also, the student should hold on to house keys and be mindful of not inconveniencing anybody to open the door at odd hours. The same goes for transportation – transportation requests should be reasonable. And it goes without saying that alcohol, tobacco, and drug use are forbidden.
In our continued effort to make host families feel more secure and to protect students traveling abroad, we make sure that students have all the proper medical and accident insurance coverage. As a host family, you will receive all the insurance information that you need when a student arrives. This information will provide detailed information about the coverage so that there are absolutely no questions or concerns.
When it comes to accommodating an international student, we don’t expect host families to spend money on things apart from the basics. This is why students are encouraged to arrive with their own spending money – either in the form of cash or on a prepaid debit card. Of course, debit cards are much safer. After all, they can often be credited if breached and they can be replaced. Anything that falls outside the scope of academic expenditures, like entertainment and clothing, will require the student’s own spending capital – not yours.
The more students that you invite into your home, the more complicated it will be. This is especially the case if you invite students from different countries and disparate backgrounds. And it can get even more complicated if you invite students of different genders. If you do have students of different genders, you want to make sure that you can provide private bedrooms. If you can’t offer privacy and comfort for more than one student, you probably don’t want to host more than one. When deciding how many people you can host, you want to be realistic about how many rooms you can truly offer. You don’t want to feel like you are in over your head.
In most cases, the answer is no. All of your expenditures will be reimbursed. However, you may want to speak with an accountant regarding this matter. We won’t offer any additional tax information, so you must account for your own expenses and make sure that you list all the items that you were reimbursed for on your tax return. It’s our sincerest hope that our host families don’t feel like hosting brings on a frustrating fiscal burden.
Again, we want to make sure that our host families and students feel safe. This is why we go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure that our host families can offer an environment that is secure, warm, and inviting for students. Don’t worry, we will come to you and we won’t take too much of your time. We will ask a few questions, take some notes, and then we’ll be on our way. We’ll also visit your home a second time within the first few months of your student’s arrival to see if things are going smoothly and if everyone is happy. We conduct these checks to confirm everyone is comfortable and on the right track.
There are a number of options when it comes to transportation. However, as a host, it is your responsibility to see to it that your international student gets to school on time – even if that means driving them. If you have another family member with a legal driver’s license, that person can also be designated as a driver. Some schools and academic institutions have a bus or shuttle system, which is another reasonable and effective means for transportation. And if your home is close to the school, your international student can walk or take a bike. However, you want to verify that the route is safe and that they know how to read various street signs and warnings.
It is often incredibly difficult for international students to obtain a license to operate a motor vehicle. Of course, without a license, an international student is forbidden to drive. Not only can the student get in trouble, but you can too if the student drives your vehicle. Then again, you can allow the student to take a driving course with an instructor, but the driving school must be accredited, licensed, and sponsored by the academic institution where the student is studying. To prevent complications, though, you probably want your international student to refrain from driving.
It all depends, but usually in August if the student is arriving for a full school year. They will typically start classes soon after, so giving the student a week or two to adjust is often recommended. Students may also arrive in January if they are placed for a start in the spring semester. Regardless, though, host families will receive detailed flight and arrival information as it becomes available. We don’t want our host families to feel rushed when it comes to preparing their homes for a student’s arrival, so all information will be detailed well in advance – not at the last minute.
Absolutely – you will be assigned temporary guardianship status. It will be your legal responsibility to care for the student and to make sure that they get the most out of their academic year while staying in your home and under your care. These are the same rights and guidelines of guardianship that apply to your own children. Host families will receive a document – a custody agreement – that must be signed and dated.
On top of signing a custody agreement, there will also be a formal document to sign between AmeriStudent and the host family. This document will go over all the guidelines pertaining to the responsibilities of host families, and it must be signed and dated by someone that is over the age of 18 – typically the head of the household or the homeowner. With this agreement, we want to ensure that the host family is protected and knows exactly what AmeriStudent requires.
Above all else, the student needs to feel at home. This means possibly taking the day off work and making time in your schedule to welcome the student and show him or her to their accommodations. This should include a tour of your home that addresses bathroom procedures, how to work the washer and dryer, and any information pertaining to the use of kitchen appliances. At some point, you should show them around the neighborhood and give them a rundown of what they should avoid – if there is anything to avoid. At the end of the tour, you want to ask your student if he or she has any questions, and you should to do your best to answer them. And to further welcome your student to both the country and your family, you may want to plan for an introductory dinner at a restaurant or your home.
After a year, or even after a semester, it will be sad to see your international student leave. But by that time, the student will be eager to get back to his or her life outside of the United States. Moreover, you may want to get your home back to yourself. In addition, the student’s visa may expire. This is exactly why you want to have a selected departure date and a ticket booked well in advance. Not only do you want to make sure to have advanced knowledge of the departure date and time, but the timing also has to work for the international student’s family back home. When it comes to deciding on a date and booking a ticket, it is mainly the student’s responsibility, but you can give them guidance if they need help navigating a website or speaking with a travel agent.
We make it as convenient as possible for our host families to contact an AmeriStudent representative. AmeriStudent representatives will have regular contact with both the host and the student to make sure everything is going well for both parties. It is important to us that both the host family and their student are happy and comfortable in their arrangements. Regardless of whether an issue is big or small, we encourage host families to contact us with any inquiries they might have. Open communication is the key to an enjoyable and positive experience for both the host families and international students.
No! Emergencies and other last minute situations are unavoidable. In the case of a true emergency, the host will need to immediately call 911. If the issue is not life threatening, but there is a concern that needs to be promptly addressed, we will have representatives available after hours. Host families are encouraged to reach out to their representatives when difficult situations arise.
AmeriStudent has stringent policies and protocols in place to ensure that academic and behavioral expectations are clearly defined. All students are required to sign a detailed contract that covers behavioral and academic expectations. Poor deportment will not be tolerated. AmeriStudent will not hesitate to send students home if they do not heed warnings, and/or an incorrigible situation arises. If hosts experience a problem with academic or behavioral issues, they will be asked to contact a representative at AmeriStudent to make an official report. AmeriStudent will work with the host family and the student to try and come up with a successful conclusion to the conflict.
Our hope at AmeriStudent is that the student and the host family have an enjoyable experience. The reality is, however, that some placements may not work. When a conflict occurs, AmeriStudent will make every effort to mediate and offer counseling to the offended parties. If mediation does not work, AmeriStudent will remove the student from the home. A student can only be moved to a host family approved by AmeriStudent.
Students under the age of 18 are considered minors. For this reason, they are to be treated and cared for as minors. Consumption of tobacco products or alcohol is forbidden. A guardian over the age of 25 must escort a student on any overnight excursions. If the hosting family intends on taking a trip or vacation, permission from the student’s parents or legal guardian is required. AmeriStudent will provide host families with a form, which can be used for parental approval. Advance notice must be given and a document signed with details regarding the location and length of the trip. An adult over the age of 25 must be present if the student intends on spending time at a friend’s home.
Students over the age of 18 have more freedom, but if they intend on going out of town or spending the night somewhere else, a parent or legal guardian must give them permission. Written and signed permission is recommended. For safety reasons and consideration of the host family, the student should give information about the length and destination of any trips. They must also leave the name and number of the person they are visiting. Out-of-state travel is not recommended for both safety reasons and visa and other documentation concerns.
There is a good chance that the host family will leave town at some point during the year. If this is the case, it is recommended that the hosts bring their international student with them on the trip. If they choose to do this they will need to receive a signed permission letter from the student’s family. A host family member over the age of 25 may stay with the student if AmeriStudent has vetted that person. If an emergency arises host families should feel free to call their AmeriStudent representative for help solving the problem.
A healthy social life is important, and host families will want to promote an active social life for their international student. Not only will the socialization boost the student’s self-esteem, but it will also help them settle into American culture and society. It is important that the international student is clear with their hosts about where they are going and how long they will be gone. They should provide the host family with telephone numbers and check in with their host parents.
Yes! When entering the study abroad program the student will understand that unexcused absences, extreme tardiness, and truancy are not accepted. If a student is late or misses school for a particular reason, a host parent will need to make sure that they have a signed note or that they call the school. It is also important that the host family attend certain school functions like parent-teacher conferences. It is a duty of the host family to follow and encourage the progress of the student. It is also important that the student’s parents back home receive all report cards and other progress reports.
While phone use is allowed, it should be monitored. Most international students will have a mobile phone. They rarely will have a need to use your home phone. If they do require use of the landline, it is important that they use a collect calling service or a telephone card to make long distance calls. When it comes to personal cell phone use, the student will be asked to speak quietly at times when other family members may be sleeping.
Host parents will want to make it a point to discuss the house curfew rules when communicating with the international student. It is not a good idea for host parents to allow the student to stay out late at night, especially on school nights. Not only is this unsafe, but it can disrupt the home. This is exactly why it is important for the host parents to establish a specific curfew. For most students this will not be a problem because they will want to be with their host families most of the time. On weekends, however, host parents may want to give their international student a little more leeway.
International student may have a completely different dietary needs than then the host family. This will be disclosed before a family decides on having that student stay in their home. While this may present some initial adjustments, it is also part of the fun of introducing someone from another country and culture into a host home. Host families may even want to visit the market and pick up a few items requested by the student. In addition, your international student may be a vegetarian or vegan, or even allergic to certain foods, so you may have to further customize your shopping list.
If at all possible, AmeriStudent would like a bathroom in the host family’s home designated as a personal bathroom for your student. If this is not possible, privacy for the student is of the utmost importance. Shower time can be stressful for any family, especially if you have a lot of people in your household and limited bathroom space. For this reason, you may want to arrange a shower schedule.
It may be smart to take additional steps when readying your home for an international student. Although it is not required, hosts may want to take a safety-training course and obtain first aid certification. In addition, host parents may want to research cultural sensitivity training and learn how to be more welcoming to students from foreign countries. AmeriStudent will provide each host family with information that will help them make the cultural adjustments needed. Host families may want to learn the customs of the country from which their student is coming, and study the cultural heritage, history, and language of their student’s homeland. Family members may also want to learn a few phrases in your student’s language. We recommend that host families predominantly speak English. International students will want to improve their English language skills while living with their host families.
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