So...What is a Homestay? What are the Benefits for Hosts and Students? The word homestay is unfamiliar to most Americans partly because homestays have traditionally occurred outside the U.S. (In fact, Microsoft Word refuses to acknowledge “homestay” as a correctly spelled word—hmm, darn spell-check “ignore all”). Depending on whom you ask, defining a homestay can be a difficult task. So let me unravel the basic concept for you and discuss the BENEFITS for its participants—the hosts and students. Maybe you will decide host an international student is for you!
What is a Homestay?
At its core, a homestay is a cultural interchange between an individual or family (called a “host”) and an international student who is completely immersed in the language and culture of a local community through a shared living experience. The host provides the HOME and the student STAYS there for a monthly fee--a Homestay. Homestay hosts offer more than a furnished room to rent—hosts share their lives by inviting their guest to participate in enriching family activities, local culture traditions, and language immersion. A homestay is the ideal, friendly environment for an international student to experience authentic local culture and develop language skills. A homestay experience offers numerous benefits for both hosts and students. Here are just a few…
Benefits for Host
· Engaging Social and Cultural Experience: How often does the world come to your living room? Learn more about other cultures and your own through daily conversation and cultural interchange.
· Monthly Income: We offer a generous “host compensation” to help the host cover all the expenses incurred by hosting. Depending on your location to the student’s college and meal plan choice, hosts can earn anywhere from $550 to $830 dollars a month, even up to $1400 if you host two students. Rates increase for hosting more than one student.
· Lifelong Friends: Our hosts and students often develop life-long friendships through the homestay experience. Many of our hosts travel to their student’s home country for a homestay!
· Flexible Hosting Dates/No Contracts: Don’t worry about short or long-term leasing contracts as a homestay host. You choose the dates you are willing to host a student. We do the work of finding you a compatible student.
· Safety: All international students and visitors must clear a security background check through their local U.S. Embassy (Department of State) in order to obtain a visa!
To learn more about hosting see: www.markshomestay.com/host
Benefits for Student:
· Improve your English: A homestay opens doors to numerous opportunities for English conversation. Research shows that homestay students often improve their language skills more rapidly than non-homestay students.
· Cultural Immersion: Although very friendly and welcoming, many Americans are sometimes are slow to welcome new people into their homes. Consequently, many international students never enter an American home during their studies. Living with a homestay host, you will gain immediate access to a welcoming American family and opportunities to participate in American customs such as holiday celebrations, dinner, family activities, and more.
· Convenience: Finding an apartment in a large, unfamiliar city is a daunting, stressful experience for many international students. Many free “apartment finder” websites are wrought with scams and difficult to navigate. Mark’s Homestay finds students' homes in Metro-Atlanta’s best neighborhoods and close to their school.
· No Contracts or Leases: Typically, U.S. landlords require
international students to sign a minimum 1 year lease and pay a higher deposit
equal to 2-3 months advance rent since they have no credit history or Social
Security Card (SSN card). This common practice makes it difficult for
internationals to locate flexible and affordable short-term housing. Mark’s Homestay only requires a small application
fee and minimum 8-week stay, but you may stay longer if you wish. If your homestay
isn’t working out, we will let you switch homestay host after two weeks at no
cost.We do offer shorter term host arrangements.
· Safety: Although we can’t guarantee student safety, Homestays are typically located in quality neighborhoods with low crime-rates. Moreover, we conduct a rigorous screening of each homestay host, which includes a detailed host application, host interview, home inspection, and national criminal background check.
Is homestay for you?
To Host: www.markshomestay.com/hostTo Homestay as a Student or Visitor: www.markshomestay.com/apply
More questions about hosting? Contact me!