Homestay Guidelines for Families
The following represents Family Homestay Guidelines to assist you in understanding and adjusting to general areas of interest involved in daily homestay living.
PLEASE review the “Homestay Guidelines” in the Students section to gain a complete understanding as to the expectations that shall be communicated to the student(s) prior to formal placement into your home.
It is vital to the success of every Homestay Florida placement that that both the student(s) and host families understand each other’s responsibilities in order to promote a smooth homestay transition.
Host families are asked to respect the privacy of the student’s bedroom. Oftentimes, this area serves as a safe haven for a student who is new to the United States and you may find that the student will initially tend to spend most of their free time in their bedroom. This is common as they adjust to a new environment and to our culture. Please be patient and softly encourage the student to interact with your family. Students are asked to keep their bedroom clean and tidy, Please feel free to discuss your house rules for eating and drinking in the bedroom. Back
If you are providing homestay for a high school student, you are required to provide the student with breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. If you are providing homestay for a university, college, or language school student, you are required to provide the student with either 2 or 3 meals during the week (depending upon their selected meal plan) and 3 meals on the weekends. Note that breakfast will usually consist of toast, cereal, muffins and other light foods that the student will prepare on their own. They are advised that cooked breakfasts, especially during the school week, are not common in America. We ask the student to call you either before they leave for school in the morning or immediately after school if they will not be home for dinner, or if they will be late for dinner. Back
General Home Cleanliness
We remind the students that they are expected to be aware of some general rules of home cleanliness. The following is provided to them:
Bedroom: Please keep your bedroom neat and clean at all times. Make your bed before you leave the home and keep your possessions organized.
Bathroom: Please keep your bathroom clean and personal products (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brushes, etc.) organized. Please ask your host parents if you are unsure as to the the proper way to use the bathroom (shower curtain, proper disposal feminine hygiene products, etc.). Be respectful and limit your shower time to under 10 minutes.
Kitchen: Please assist in cleaning up after eating with your host family, as well as after preparing food or snacks for yourself. Ask your host family their rules for bringing food or snacks into your bedroom. If they allow this, then make sure to return dirty dishes and glassware to the kitchen and clean them when you are finished. Back
The students are advised that it is not typical for homestay families to offer to include the student’s washing as part of their homestay, and that most families prefer the student to do their own laundry. Please show your student how to use the washing machine, provide the basic necessities he or she will need, and communicate the appropriate time(s) to do your their laundry. They are responsible for purchasing any special items that they’ll require. They understand to not use the washing machine to wash only one or two items, as this is wasting water. They’ll be sure to have a half or full load to wash, depending on the settings of the machine. Back
Most international students will arrive with a cell phone. We request that you please be available to assist them in acquiring a cell phone and establishing an account if required. Students are advised to be courteous when on their cell phone around the home by talking to others quietly, in a private area of the home, and not in front of any member of your host family or your guests. Back
Wireless internet must be available for the student. We request that they ask you before downloading music, making video calls (Skype, QQ, etc.) or watching movies online. They understand that these activities take up a lot of bandwidth and may limit the internet usage for other members of your family. Also, we encourage them to respect their commitment to school work, and refrain from staying up late at night enjoying the internet! Back
Safety and Security
Students should be provided with a door key. Stress to the student the need to secure the house should they be the last to leave – many cultures do not experience house break-ins to the extent that we do. Students staying in America for a reasonably long period are advised to open a bank account and should be discouraged from keeping large sums of money or valuable possessions in their rooms or on their person. Back
All international high school students, and most college, university, and language school students arrive with travel insurance in the event that general healthcare or medical assistance is required. We ask that you assist them in locating a participating provider local to your home. Back
Some host families will be required to be responsible for school transportation, depending upon the type of homestay placement. Beyond this, we ask that you be available to assist the students with reasonable transportation requests, just as you would with your own children. Examples of these would be trips to the mall, visiting with a classmate over the weekend, etc. Most of our host families work together in sharing transportation duties, as students most often participate in activities with other international students. Back
Our international students often enjoy being included in family on activities outside of the home. These include dinners out, trips to the beach, shopping, vacations, etc.
We remind them that they are generally responsible for any expenses outside of the home (clothes, entertainment, movies, meals at restaurants, souvenirs, theme parks, etc.), and to please be prepared to pay for themselves unless otherwise offered by your family. We encourage you to discuss with your student the cost requirements prior to any applicable activity in order to avoid potential confusion or awkwardness. Back