How Are Hosts Paid?
What is homestay?
Homestay is where a visiting guest (international student) stays in a properly managed hosted accommodation environment for a period of their study in a new country. A homestay allows an international student the opportunity to begin their stay in the USA in a warm, welcoming American household, rather than in an impersonal apartment, dorm, or hotel.
Why is AHN homestay my best choice for hosting?
AHN is the most recognized global homestay provider for international students. We are leaders in the industry as we provide a full service approach to hosting. That means that we know exactly who is staying with you and what their background is. We provide support 24 hours a day in case there is a problem or emergency. We also handle billing and pay you directly, on time, via direct deposit. We give you training on cultural understanding and how to help guests and your family enjoy the hosting experience.
What is required of a host?
You must have a clean, furnished, comfortable, and private bedroom for your guest and be willing to make them feel at home with conversation, support, and inclusion in family activities. Hosts must speak clear English in the home and all adults are required to pass criminal background checks. You may share meals and transportation with your guest if you choose, and homestay stipends are larger if you do so.
Who can host?
Traditional families, non-traditional families, single people, roommates and friends living together – any person or group who is willing to share daily life with an international guest can be a host.
Do I receive payment to host?
All hosts receive direct deposit hosting stipends every 2 weeks. The amounts vary based on 1) what meals and amenities you provide, 2) your location relative to the school, 3) the cost of housing in your area, and 4) the age of the guest.
Will guests have their own spending money?
Yes. Guests of all ages will have their own money. You are expected to pay for their food up to the point you’ve selected for your hosting level but you are not expected to pay the guest’s expenses beyond your host agreement.
Do I need to cook for my guest?
That is up to you. In your area, there will be certain meal options for homestays – usually 3 meals, 2 meals, or no meals. Breakfast and lunch are self-serve, so you will only need to have food available. AHN stipends are larger for stays with meals in order to offset your costs and effort.
Do I need to provide transportation for my guest?
This is an option. In many cities we offer a higher stipend for a concierge offering where the host drives the guest to and from school. Otherwise students in our program use public transport at their own cost.
Who will I be hosting?
Most of our guests are college or high school students who have travelled a long way for the opportunity to study in America.
Do the students speak English?
English proficiency will vary, but most will have some English skills when they arrive. Many students are trying to improve their English by choosing a homestay.
How long do students stay?
Generally, Homestays can be as short as a few weeks (e.g: study tour) or after an initial 4 week period they may be extended for as long as you and the student are happy to stay together.
What if it doesn’t work out?
The American Homestay Network stay involved from the start of the placement until its conclusion. If things aren’t working out and we can’t resolve them with you we will arrange for the student to move to a different homestay.
Do I need to be near a major school, college or university?
We try to place students at least within 50 minutes (by public transport unless you are driving the student yourself) of their chosen university, college, vocational-tech, ESL school, professional or high school. We are always looking for hosts appropriately located where there is current international student demand.
Can we host if we have a pet?
Yes! Some guests are happy for the host to have pets and others will prefer for the host to not have pets. If you (as a host) declare that you have a pet, we will not present your host profile to students who have allergies or a problem with pets.
Do I take my guest out to dinner, on excursions, and on family trips?
We ask that you include your guest as much as you like, but you are not obligated to include them in everything. The host stipend will help cover costs, but just talk with your guest ahead of time about any extra entertainment or travel expenses. Usually the student would pay for anything that is outside of the homestay hosting agreement.
Where do guests come from?
Most AHN guests are college-age students who are here to study in a degree program or an ESL or vocational course. We also place high school students, interns, older professionals, and study tours. These students come from all over the world – some active countries currently include China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, India and Brazil.
Does the guest have insurance?
International students are encouraged (and for some it is a Visa condition) to have insurance and their insurance requirements usually come from the school. AHN does not mandate insurance for the student . If you have any concerns about your own insurance please check with your household insurer.
What is the vacation policy?
You are welcome to invite your guest to join you on vacation if you wish. Alternatively, if the guest is over 18, and you are comfortable with it, they can remain in your home whilst you are away. You must let the guest know in advance and ensure they are getting all the services and meals you’ve agreed to provide whilst you are away. If your guest is under 18 they will require overnight supervision at all times. Approval must be obtained from their school before going on vacation, or being left in the care of another adult.
How do I apply?
If you have any questions, please submit the application form and we will contact you. This is a brief online application with basic personal and household information, and only takes a few minutes to submit.
What happens after I apply?
After we receive your application, we certify you as an AHN host family by conducting –
- A brief email and phone screening
- A short home inspection
- A background check
Why do I need to get certified to start taking guests?
The certification process for hosts is how we prepare you to have the best experience and how we can offer the same quality and integrity to the guests who come to stay with you. When they see you are certified, they know you are a safe, quality host for them.
Do I need to be committed to hosting with when I submit the application?
No – submitting the application is a great way to learn more about our program and we’d love to talk to you personally and answer any questions. There is no obligation to take a student even after you have finished the process.
What areas do you serve?
We are building operations and growing rapidly in the USA. Please contact us to see if we are currently placing students in your area. Alternatively you may wish to help us set up a program in your region.
How long does it take to get a student placed in my home?
Once you are certified, placement can happen right away or it could take longer depending on demand in your area and the time of the year.
How many guests can I host?
You can host up to 2 guests at a time and as many guests consecutively as you like. You are paid per guest per night.
Are there any tax benefits in hosting?
Please read our tax strategy page to find out more.
“We all love Chisato, she is like my own daughter as she is very nice helpful and not afraid to asked questions or help with her school work. I would love to have her back if she decides to come back but she told me she is going back to school in Japan. I would love another Japanese female student fort next one. Chisato told me that she enjoyed the holidays very much specially Christmas.”
“We had a fantastic time with our boys and loved each day with them! Summer stay was more fun as we could have more outdoor activities with them. But they enjoyed sledding and building a snowman on their 2 snow days. We would love to do this again.”