For over 10 years, extraordinary families in the Asheville area have been welcoming our international students into their homes during the summer. Every year, our Asheville Homestay program has grown from strength to strength and we think that has a lot to do with the friendly, welcoming community in Asheville, NC – join us today!
Each summer, through July and August, families in the wider Asheville area invite foreign students aged between 13 and 17 to live with them whilst the student attends our intercultural Day Camp along with children and teens from the local community. When your student is not at camp, they should be 100% part of your family life and normal activity – take them shopping, meet friends, cook together – whatever it is, share your home and share your life.
This summer has been one of the best experiences EVER, and the best thing of all has been my wonderful host family because they made me feel as one of them.
Our focus for this program is integration and exchange – for both our families and our students. Opening your home to a new family member can be a really rewarding experience for every member of the home – from cultural diversity and awareness to learning and improving a foreign language. Many of Xplore families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication.
Our daily intercultural camp is also not just for our international students. We invite and encourage your children to bring their friends and join in as well – this is a huge part of what makes our camp so special and diverse.
Xplore USA hosts a ‘Welcome Dinner’ to introduce all our wonderful host families, students and Xplore staff to each other, and by the ‘Farewell Dinner’ at the end of the program, everyone feels part of this extraordinary hosting community.
We loved learning about the different cultures and foods from our international student. Xplore USA is a wonderful program and a great introduction to hosting international students. Our entire family loves the Xplore USA program, the people that staff it, the activities.
|2 Week Hosting||Saturday June 30 - Saturday July 14|
|3 Week Hosting||Saturday July 7 - Saturday July 28|
|4 Week Hosting||Saturday June 30 - Saturday July 28
Each week, between Monday to Friday, we ask our families to drop off their student and their own children at Hanger Hall so they can join our camp.
Both international and American campers are together for the first 30 minutes of the morning, before breaking out into their respective language classes until lunch time.
Foreign students spend the morning in their English language lessons, helping to improve their pronunciation, grammar and conversation, whilst our American campers enjoy a foreign languages class of usually German, Spanish, Italian and French.
Every afternoon, we take all our campers on an adventure. We hit all the best local spots to showcase this beautiful area to our international visitors. Our camp activities are designed to provide insight into American culture and show our international students precisely what young people of Western North Carolina do in their free time: hang out with friends and make the most of what the area has to offer.
Excursions & Volunteering
On Wednesdays, we take all our campers off on a full day activity – from a trip to Carowinds, swimming at the waterfalls or white water rafting. We really encourage our host parents to join us as a chance to bond and create memories with their student.
Each week we also partner with a different organization to begin a new volunteering project that both our host families and students can participate in. We hope this part of our program shows our international students a view of the many ways in which people can work together to improve their communities.
A family motivated to share their community and lifestyle with an international student. Room and board in an extra bedroom OR a separate bed in your child/ren’s room (must be same gender & similar age).
Opening your home to a new family member is a rich and rewarding experience! You will make a new friend and learn about their culture. Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication.
Families provide a safe and loving home, meals, and their own space. Host families welcome their host student into their home as a family member, and include them in their daily life. We expect you to live and work as you normally do, which provides our student with a genuine experience of American life!
We work with partner agents from all over the world to recruit international students for our programs – previously we have welcomed students from Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Austria, and China to name a few!
International students are between the ages of 13 and 18.
English skills vary although most are of an intermediate level. They are required to have a minimum of a pre-intermediate level prior to a homestay program. The most enjoyable part of hosting is learning new ways to communicate!
Yes! Our families are representative of the diversity we love to celebrate!
We welcome families with children, families without children, same sex couple families, retired couples, or single parents even.
Yes, families often host between 1 and 3 students, however they must be different nationalities. Hosting more than one student can be an enriching experience not only for your family but for the students also as they also get to enjoy being host siblings and practicing their English with each other.
Yes – as long as the student and your child are of a similar age and the same gender. For families hosting more than 1 student, the students must be the same gender if they are sharing a room.
Yes – as long as they are in a comfortable sized space/ room.
We ask that host families provide all meals, including packed lunches for the duration of the program. However, Xplore USA does provide several lunches at camp as well as a ‘Welcome’ and ‘Farewell’ Dinner /BBQ for all our host families and students.
We have a saying here at Xplore “WE entertain them, YOU enjoy them!”
We provide a lot of activities at camp that allow students to see the best of the area. This allows families to just be yourself and include them in whatever activities you usually do with your family on a regular basis.
Yes, you are welcome especially on the excursion.
Yes, we help coordinate carpooling amidst families that live in the same area. It is not uncommon to have host families that live as far as an hour outside of the city.
1. Host Family Application and Photo Album
Each interested host family must fill out an application, complete with photo album, for us to share with your chosen international student – this reassures students and allows them to get a glimpse of their homestay before they arrive!
2. Home Visit
Once your application is completed, we will schedule a convenient time for a home visit. This necessary step allows us to meet face-to-face and answer your questions about the hosting experience. We are also able to evaluate the space you wish to provide for your international student. This appointment usually takes about an hour and is a great opportunity for you to have all your questions answered.
3. Criminal background checks & references
To comply with child safety regulations for our students, criminal background checks will be run on all adults in the home. We also ask you to submit Family References that describe your family’s character and home environment.
4. Choose your Student
You get to choose the student that you feel is the best match after reading their applications, complete with pictures and letters from both the student and their parents. You can also choose more than one student as long as they don’t speak the same native language.
We have a strong network of support available to all our host families during their hosting career – from Local Coordinators to Program Managers and Directors, who can answer any questions you have at any time.
We aim to give all our families as much information prior to welcoming a student so that families feel as prepared as possible.
While issues are rare, Xplore has a 24/7 emergency support number. Xplore staff will help you resolve any issues that come up.