Why is homestay a great choice for students?
Homestay is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a host) and a visiting student. The student lives for an agreed period of time with the host. One purpose of the homestay can be to support the student’s desire to improve his or her English-speaking skills and learn about American culture and lifestyles. It also offers an opportunity for the host family to learn about the student’s culture. A homestay is the best way for students to become familiar with America; research shows that students who begin their visit with a homestay accommodation become immersed in the language and culture more easily.
How does homestay work?
The American Homestay Network (AHN) will match each student with a preference matching host family located as near as we can to the student’s place of education. The host will provide the student with a private bedroom and an agreed-upon meal plan, and will assist them in learning the local customs and transportation systems, as well as generally helping the student become acquainted with the American lifestyle. Students are encouraged to share information about their home cultures and countries, as our hosts will also wish to have a unique cultural experience.
How is the AHN program different from other homestay options?
AHN hosts are carefully screened and selected to ensure that they are committed to providing a great experience to our students. We are the only program that requires a national, criminal background check of all host family members over 18. Our homestay model has operated successfully for years in Australia; the American program replicates these effective procedures, processes, and systems so that we can fulfil the same high standards in America. Every service we offer is designed to ensure that students are safe, comfortable, and successful during their time in our program. You will be met at the airport (by prior arrangement) by our contracted airport reception drivers who will communicate directly with us and your new host to ensure you are safely transported to the host home when they are there to welcome you.
How are hosts selected for your program?
The safety and well- being of each AHN student is our top priority. AHN uses a proprietary background check and in-home screening and interview processes to make sure that our hosts are able and willing to provide an environment that will create a comfortable, pleasant homestay experience. All hosts are required to take an online training course and successfully pass the exam. We offer additional content to assist hosts online in our Host Management System™, which includes further in-depth cultural orientation and ideas for supporting a great homestay. All AHN hosts must speak English in the home.
How does AHN-USA ensure a successful homestay?
Student welfare is our top priority. In addition to the thorough screening process we administer to our hosts, AHN provides the use of our Host Management System to provide online training for hosts, cultural-orientation materials for all participants, and a private system that promotes regular, confidential communication between AHN management, students, and hosts. We have a professionally staffed 24/7 critical-incident hotline that hosts and students can use should an emergency arise. We will attempt to resolve locally any issues or miscommunications that may arise, and generally, our host managers are able to seek a suitable resolution. If there is anunresolvable issue than cannot be addressed, we will move a student to another homestay.
What does homestay cost?
AHN provides several accommodations and meal options for students to choose from. In general, homestay is an economical choice for students and will include a private bedroom with a place to study, internet access, an agreed-upon meal plan, use of the AHN-USA website and services, 24/7 critical-incident support and optional airport transfer. There is a one-time application fee per student. You will receive complete details specific to your requirements after you submit your application.
How close will I live to my education provider?
AHN uses a sophisticated technology that matches students firstly to the right host (according to their living preferences) and then to the proximity of their education provider location. We aim to enable students to travel via public transportation to their school within a reasonable time frame. We have two categories to choose from; a premium homestay is less than 30 minutes from your educational institution and a standard location is approximately 30-50 minutes. The premium locations, when available, are slightly more expensive and are very popular. Your host will make sure that you are comfortable using the local public transportation system to provide reasonable support for you to get back and forth to school and home.
What does the application process involve? How do I apply?
Click here to access the student application. Once you complete the application, an email will be sent to your email address. The email will include an activation link to your AHN account; just click and log in. The more information that you give us in the application the better the chance we have of getting you the right host match.
What rules do I have to follow while I’m living with a homestay host?
Your host will review their house rules with you as they orient you to their home. You should make sure you understand and agree to these rules. If you have questions about any rules or other information your host provides, you can contact AHN directly through your private account online.
How long is a homestay?
Unless you are under 18 years of age – the length of the homestay is completely up to the student. Over 18 year old students are recommended to stay for their first four weeks in the country just to get settled. Sometimes students choose to live with a particular family throughout their educational stay in the United States.
How much does homestay cost?
Please visit our student pricing page to learn more.
Is there a member of AHN I can contact in case of emergencies?
We have a professionally staffed 24/7 help hotline that hosts and students can use should an emergency arise. Each community we work with has a local manager who serves as your primary point of contact for any questions regarding your homestay.
“Amazing and friendly family …”
“I want to live in this house …”
“They are amazing hosts and I’m having a great time here …”
“The best homestay ever …”