Homestay is a living arrangement available to international students who would like to live with an American family. In return for a monthly payment a Host family provides the student with a private room and home atmosphere. This setting works well for a student who wants to interact as a family member, often sharing meals and activities. Please note - Minimum stay in Homestay is one quarter.
Application - Application packages are available at the SVC International Programs Office or on-line. Please visit the application link above to download a Homestay application package. The completed application forms and supporting documents may be faxed, brought or mailed to the college at the address below.
Under the "Traditional" option, all food is provided. Students are expected to prepare their own breakfast and lunch using the food provided by the host. At least five dinner meals each week are prepared by the host, usually Monday through Friday, and served at a time that is convenient to the host. Expenses such as bus fare, toiletries, long distance phone use, Internet installation and other personal items are not included in the stipend.
Under the "Room and Kitchen Access" option, students are expected to buy their own food and prepare their own meals. Students who want a more independent relationship with the host family usually prefer this option. Expenses such as bus fare, toiletries, and long distance phone use, Internet installation and other personal items are not included in the stipend.
Homestay Commitment - We expect students to stay in their Homestay at least one academic quarter (unless your program is shorter than a quarter) in order to be fair to hosts. The first ten days of the Homestay are considered a trial period to ensure that host and student are compatible. During this period, if you and the host decide you are not compatible, you may move out and pay the pro-rated amount of $20 per night for the nights of your stay. After the first ten days, you should stay in the Homestay for the remainder of the quarter, and when you decide to move out, you must give your host 20 days notice. Homestay is available to students of all ages. Students under the age of 18 years old must live in a Homestay, it is their only option.
Family Life - What makes up a family in the United States may be similar to a traditional family in your own country, or it may be very different. We have hosts from various ethnic groups, socioeconomic levels, religions, and lifestyles. Although we are committed to making appropriate and comfortable Homestay matches, we cannot accommodate requests for hosts of a specific racial background, of a specific religion, with a specific number of children, or any other characteristic. Please be open to experiencing our cultural diversity.
Homes - Just as there are different hosts, there are many different kinds of homes. Some homes are large and elegant; some are small and quite modest. Some homes may be in town and some in the country. Some hosts live in apartments. No matter the home, all students are provided with a private room with a window, chest of drawers, desk, chair, adequate lighting, bed, bedding and closet.
Participation in Family Life - By choosing to live in a Homestay a student makes the choice to be part of an American family. Families typically want to interact with their students. Students are encouraged to plan their schedules around host' schedules when possible, to make interaction possible. For example: mealtimes are often the best time to visit with the family and also practice English. Students should try to schedule their school and social calendars to be available at that time if at all possible.
Rules - Your host will explain the rules when you arrive. These rules could include what chores each household member is responsible for, whether you can invite your friends over, and how late you can receive phone calls. Most students seem to adapt easily to their hosts' lifestyles. In general, be respectful and know you are expected to follow your host's rules as a member of the family. Please note the following:
Responsibilities - Students living in Homestay are responsible for their own transportation, the Homestay fees, and for following procedures for moving in and out of Homestay. Following are additional guidelines: