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Long Term Hosting

Have you ever wanted to bring more cultural awareness into your home and family?

Would you or your family benefit from being in contact an international high school student?

Since 2013, Xplore USA has worked with some incredible families from across the US, from east coast to west coast, Wisconsin to Florida to welcome high-performing international students to spend a year studying abroad at a US high school. These students bring with them an appetite to learn and achieve as well as a desire to live as an American teenager with an American family.

Program Overview

Long term hosting involves inviting an international student, aged between 14 and 17 to join your family home while they attend a local high school on an academic placement. Placements can last from 1 semester up to a full year, with some students choosing to stay in the US to continue their education.

We have been overwhelmed by the positive impact hosting an international student has had on our host parents and their families which we believe is down to the tenacity of our students. Each student brings with them an inspiring and adventurous spirit, ready to jump into a foreign environment to learn about life in the US, improve their English and achieve the best education they can.

Home away from Home

We believe our hometowns, schools and communities should be a home away from home for our international students, where they feel comfortable to dive into an authentic engagement in the American lifestyle. 

For this reason, we strongly encourage our families to integrate their student into all aspects of home life – from introducing them to friends, family and neighbors, to taking them food shopping, allowing them to cook a family meal, showing them around the neighborhood and visiting local points of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a host family?

Practically, families need to have a spare room for the student to reside in and able to provide the student with three meals a day. Outside of that, we are looking for families who are motivated to share their lives, home and lifestyle with an international student. Our program is about creating a home from home, so having supportive and engaged host parents can really make such an impact on our students education and study abroad experience.

What are the benefits of hosting?

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.

What are the expectations of a host family?

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!

What is the application process for becoming a host family?

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! 

Start your Application here

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.

How long does the application process take?

The application includes details of each family member, the home amenities, environment, references and photos of the home and family members.  The home interview takes about 1.5 hours or possibly more, depending on questions you may have. ​Additionally, we require criminal background checks on all household members 18 years of age and older.

Where will my student be from?

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!

How old will my student be?

Xplore MyChoice students attend high school so are aged between 14 and 18.

What will my student be like? Can they speak English?

All Xplore MyChoice students are carefully screened and selected to participate with this program based on their enthusiasm, adaptability, maturity and school grades. We have a requirement for our students to have a minimum of three years of English language experience. Students are typically given an English language proficiency test to qualify them for the program and to ensure they have a working knowledge of the English language.  

Do I need to pay for the student?

No. We only ask that host families provide three meals a day (not including purchased school lunches) for the duration of the program and we offer our families a stipend for hosting.

Students will responsible for paying for their own school supplies, school fees, personal toiletries, cell phone plans, medicines (of all kinds), dental work, haircuts (and other personal services/treatments, personal entertainment and expenses outside of the family (if your family is going out for dinner or to a movie, for example, you should pay for the student) and costs associated with participation in school-sponsored activities e.g. graduation ceremonies, school dances, extra-curricular sports, school trips.

Do I receive payment for hosting?

Yes – a hosting payment (stipend) will be paid to families on the last business day of each month through direct deposit. All payments will be calculated using a pro-rated equation based on the number of days a student resided in the home during that month. When determining this number, please be aware that a family is not paid for the day the student arrives but will always be paid for the day the student leaves, regardless of what time of day either of those events take place.

I don’t have children of my own or my children have left home. Can I still host?

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.

Can we host more than one student?

Yes, we would be happy to consider the option of hosting more than one student. However, each students will require their own room; we make every effort to maintain the same level of accommodations for every participant. If hosting more than 1 student, they will be from countries that do not speak the same language.

My children have chores. Should I give my student chores?

Yes. This really helps them feel a part of the family – they should have expectations similar to your son or daughter, not a guest.

Will the student have medical insurance while they are here?

Yes, all the students have comprehensive medical and travel insurance. This insurance policy covers costs for emergency medical treatments and other services abroad, even including fees for transportation, if necessary.

What happens if my family has a vacation planned or we want to go away for the weekend? Do we take the student with us?

If you would like to invite your student to go on vacation with your family or go away for the weekend, Xplore USA will need to get their natural parent’s permission, especially if there is a flight and cost to the student be be approved.

If it is not possible for you to include them on a trip, this is no problem. Instead, we encourage our families to try to make private arrangements with friends in your community who may be able to host your student whilst you are away. We just ask that we are made aware of any arrangements.

What support can I expect from Xplore USA?

We have a strong network of support available to all our host families during their hosting program. One of our Local Coordinators in your community will be in close contact within the first few weeks of your student’s arrival to see how things are going and to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. We encourage you to let the coordinator know as soon as possible if you are having difficulties. If after reviewing the situation it is felt the difficulties cannot be resolved, we will move the student.

Additionally, we have a 24/7 emergency number in the event of an emergency or even an urgent question. We aim to give all our families as much information prior to welcoming a student so that families feel as prepared as possible.


What happens if I have an issue while I’m hosting?

While issues are rare, Xplore has a 24/7 emergency support number. Xplore staff will help you resolve any issues that come up.

Can different religious beliefs become an issue?

Both host families and students may have deeply held religious beliefs. Putting those of different religions together in the same home can be an excellent opportunity for intercultural learning and understanding. We ask our families to handle this carefully so that students are not left with the impression that their host family is trying to ‘convert’ them to their faith. On the other hand, a student may have a strong belief and need to attend a service of their religion and we ask our families to assist with connecting them with someone who may be able to assist with this.

We feel it is important to share the information we give students before arrival:

“You are not required to attend religious services with your host family.

You may be invited, and it is your choice to attend or not. We do recommend you try the experience as many churches have youth groups that offer opportunities to make friends and attend events. Also it is a family day and important to the family to spend this time together.  If you decide to attend only once, for the experience, it is best to state that at the outset so no feelings are hurt when you choose not to return.”