Frequently Asked Questions

What ages are the students?

The students coming this summer will be between 14 – 18 years old (with the exception of the University Program).

What are the dates they will be here?

They will arrive more or less between June 28-30 and will depart between July 28-30 from an airport near you.  Please check with your area coordinator for dates and airport details. Families need to plan to be at the airport for arrival and departure; however, if it is impossible we can arrange transportation to your house. Your presence at the airport sends the message that they are family!  

Will they bring money with them?

Yes. While this is not mandatory, we encourage students to bring around $300 to the USA for any tourism or shopping they choose to do.

Do they speak good English?

While their level of English varies, all come with at least a functional level of English.

Do I have to have teens/kids to be able to host?

Nope! Absolutely not!  Each life stage has its own unique advantages when it comes to hosting.

Do they need to have their own bedroom?

Not necessarily.  It’s nice if they can have their own bedroom but many students can share a bedroom with same gender siblings.

Do they have health insurance?

Yes. They will come with travel health insurance in case there is any problem while they are in the USA. You should never have to put down your contact information or insurance information at a hospital if there is a problem.

What if our whole family is at work or school all day?

This doesn’t make it impossible to host because sometimes there is a family who would like to be involved in the life of a student, but they don’t have space for them to sleep. Or maybe you are in a small group at your church that would like to help out. Or sometimes, families have taken their student to another family’s house who is also hosting a student. Other times, one parent has taken vacation one week, another parent another week, and then they find other families to help out the other two weeks. It certainly requires some planning and coordination, but if you feel God tugging on your heart…don’t let your work schedule keep you from listening. We can help you evaluate your situation and how you can make it work.

I can’t host a student because we don’t have space, but I’d like to be involved.

Sometimes there are families that can host a student, but they’re at work all day (see the question above). If this is you, contact us and we can connect you with a family near you who is in this situation and you can partner together with them.

We normally take a family vacation in July.

Great! If you are willing, take the student with you! This is a great memory maker and might even be more bonding for your family as you will find that your student brings you all together. This is also an amazing way to send a message to your student that they have become part of your family. Of course, not every family is willing to do this, but if you are able we highly encourage you to keep your normal summer trips and family vacations.

What is the financial commitment?

There is no financial commitment other than treating the student like a part of your family. As a result, there is an increased cost (we estimate somewhere between $150-300 depending on the lifestyle of your family). This is a result of added food and utilities, an extra person with you when you eat out at restaurants, and if you choose to do extra activities throughout the month. When the student chooses to go shopping or other optional activities, you do not need to pay for them (they will bring around $300 to pay for extra things like this), but when they are with you and doing activities with your family, we ask that you treat them like one of your children.

What is the time commitment?

There will be several activities organized throughout the month for you and your student (see question about activities below). While none of these are mandatory for host families (except the welcome BBQ and goodbye dinner) they are all highly recommended as this gives you the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with your student and the other students as well. The intentional time and activities you spend with your student and your family take time as well as most people want to be good hosts who show their student the best of your area of the USA. However, many students are just excited to see how normal Americans live their normal lives. So don’t be afraid to keep your normal friend plans, family trips, weekly obligations, sports practices and games, and take your student along with you to those things.

Won’t they get bored? (what do we do with them all day all month?)

They will if you don’t do anything with them all month!  But if you are intentional about spending time with them, including them in your normal activities, and living missionally as a family they will have a great time! We provide families with a list of activities that are low or no cost that they can do with their student throughout the month. We also encourage families to build good habits into their family (such as limiting times on technology, eating meals together, watching TV together instead of separately, playing games together, going for a walk after dinner, etc) that can be great for your family in the future. If you do these simple things, your student won’t be bored and will have an amazing time with you.

What kinds of activities will be organized throughout the month?

We will organize activities like a welcome BBQ, an American breakfast orientation meeting, a water related activity, a day trip to a big city, an American sports activity and a goodbye dinner.  We will provide you with a calendar of when these events are going to happen so that you can arrange for your student to be there and hopefully for your family to be able to participate as well. Additionally, we may organize other activities that families and students can participate in if they are free and/or need something to do. We will create a WhatsApp group (WhatsApp is a messaging app for smartphones) that will allow us to communicate easily throughout the month with any impromptu activities that can be organized by us or by individual families themselves. In general, we encourage families to plan individual activities through the first couple weeks and increase the number of group activities or with other families as the month continues so that the students bond first with their family. Our goal, is to make your job as a family as easy as possible.

Can the students travel to Canada or Mexico with our family?

Yes, but they need to fill out a permission form ahead of time from their parents. Contact your coordinator to get this document.