INTRODUCTION TO HOSTING
Who qualifies to be a Heritage Student Foundation host? Heritage Student Foundation (HSF) welcomes responsible and trustworthy hosts who can meet the criteria below. An HSF host is someone who: 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
has an upbeat, positive attitude and is open to learning more about a different culture. has extensive experience with children or has raised his/her children. is over 30 years old and so is the spouse, if applicable. owns a car and has sufficient driving experience so the host is skilled enough to drive in all weather conditions. has at least one empty bedroom available in their home that can be assigned to the student. is available to provide the student with rides to and from school if school transportation is not an option. may be able to provide extra rides for afterschool activities if they are scheduled in advance. is available to handle school matters on behalf of the student’s parents. is friendly and supportive towards children. is a native English speaker or fluency in English is comparable to the level of a native speaker. is someone that can pass a background check. All of the other adults living in the host’s home have to meet the same standards.
In addition, a homestay arrangement has to follow this set of guidelines: • Host provides a bedroom that is solely for Student’s use. The bedroom must be furnished with a bed, a desk and chair complete with a desk lamp, a closet or bureau, and linens and towels. • Host provides breakfast and dinner along with snacks during weekdays and three full meals plus snacks over the weekend. If Host is absent during meal times, Host is to either prepare a meal in advance or leave directions and funds for take‐out. • Host welcomes Student as a new member of the family, not as someone who rents a room in the house. Host shall treat Student like his/her own child. • Student will take a school bus to and from school if busing is available, otherwise Host is required to provide school transportation. In terms of other necessary rides such as extra‐curriculars, Student is required to pre‐schedule with Host, except in the sudden development of a situation where a ride is necessary. The homestay fee may be adjusted, depending on the ride situation. • In the case of any medical emergency, Host should accompany Student to the hospital. • A coordinator will check in with Host and Student by calling periodically. Emails will be sent out to notify Host of any updates. If a Local Coordinator is nearby, house visits will be made once a month. • Host’s home must be high‐speed internet ready. Since Student will arrive with his/her laptop computer, wireless internet is a must. • Host is required to contact the Local Coordinator in the area or HSF headquarters in the case of any emergency befalling the student. • Host steps into role of guardian on behalf of Student’s parents for all school matters, including but not limited to attending parent‐ teacher conferences or attending a school event where Student is featured.
Frequently Asked Questions: How is Heritage Student Foundation different from any other hosting agency? Heritage Student Foundation provides services to students ranging from elementary to secondary education. Host families may need to dedicate their time to provide rides to/from school as well as rides for extra activities. Host families are carefully screened to ensure a safe and friendly Homestay environment.
Will the student have his/her own medical insurance? Yes, it is required that all students have his/her own medical insurance before they enter the U.S.
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What is the duration of the student’s stay? Students will reside with the host family for school year, approximately 10 months. Student entering the States for winter term will stay with the host for the remainder of the school year. Circumstances may arise where the student chooses to transfer schools to a different region. When this occurs, a new host family will be chosen.
When do I sign the Homestay contract? Heritage Student Foundation will prepare a host agreement contract between the host and student after they are deemed to be compatible. The contract will detail information regarding the duties of the host as well as compensation fee.
What does the compensation fee cover? The host family is compensated for the student’s room and board and transportation. With the addition of another member of the family, the cost of utilities will increase; the fee should cover these increases.
What does guardianship entail? The host will be registered as the student’s guardian with the school. The school will notify the host with academic progress reports and forward permission slips (ex. Field trips). Host would be required to attend parent/teacher conferences, and it is recommended that the host be present for student‐involved activities.
How long do I have to wait before a student is housed with me? Students contact Heritage Student Foundation with a host request for a certain region. Compatible hosts are contacted by coordinators in order to exchange further details. Not all host candidates are guaranteed a Homestay arrangement, however they are always eligible. A failed match does not hurt your chances of being considered for another student. If a host is accepted by the student party, a future move‐in date is arranged immediately, but the student may not move in until the start of the term. As the start of the term approaches, an HSF coordinator will contact you with pick‐up details (i.e. Airport arrangements).
Can the student attend a public school near my residence? International students, who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, are not eligible to attend public schools. Even among private schools, it is seldom that a student visa will be issued.
What are the average school hours? The average school start time is at 8:00 am, and most schools conclude the school day at 3:00 pm. Designated hours vary depending on the school in attendance, so HSF coordinators will inform prospective hosts with accurate school hours.
What are the ages of the students who are looking for a Homestay? Homestay‐seeking students range from 13 to 18 years in age (7th to 12th grade).
Can I host more than one student at the same time? Heritage Student Foundation prefers that families host no more than one student, with the exception of siblings and students from different countries.
Am I responsible for providing meals? The host is required to provide two daily meals and snacks during the school week, unless otherwise agreed upon. During the weekends and when school is not in session, three full meals must be provided.
Does the student need to have his/her own furnished bedroom? Each student is required to have his/her own room furnished with bed, linens, desk, chair, lamp, and closet or dresser. Host should provide essentials such as shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothpaste, towels, and laundry service or use of laundry machines.
What other additional information should I be aware of as a potential host? What are some of the home countries of these international students? Most of our students are from mainland China and South Korea.
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What are some of the other common traits of our students? Our students vary in age, but most of them are in high school, and very few students are in grades lower than 8th grade. This diversity extends to socio‐economic backgrounds, personalities, and interests. However, one can generalize and say that our students share the same goal, which is to ultimately apply and be admitted into an American college or universities.
Can a single person constitute a “host family”? Yes. Heritage Student Foundation encourages married, single, divorced, separated, and widowed individuals to apply to be a host.
Must host applicants have had prior hosting experience? No. Nor is it likely that host applicants who have hosted before will be given preference over those who are hosting for the first time.
Who dispenses the monthly homestay fee that compensates the host family for providing the homestay arrangement? HSF headquarters is responsible for all financial matters concerning the homestay arrangement. All of our hosts get paid by checks that are mailed out via USPS.
Will I need to file the compensation fee as income earned? No, the compensation fee is not considered taxable income. The monthly fee is a transfer of funds from the student’s parents to cover the cost of providing room & board and transportation for their child.
Where is Heritage Student Foundation headquartered? The head office is located in a suburb of Chicago, IL in the Midwest. However, our current host families and students are located in sixteen states. In addition, we have partner agencies and contacts throughout the Asian continent and the United States.
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Introduction to hosting through Heritage Student Foundation and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)