Overview of Host Family Responsibilities
- Welcome your international student as a member of your family.
- Be clear about rules and expectations.
- Provide a bedroom with a door. Students may share a bedroom with another family member of the same gender and similar age.
- Each child must have his/her own bed and separate storage for clothing and personal items.
- Provide a quiet place in the home for study and homework.
- Provide regular transportation to and from school and required events, i.e. TOEFL, SAT, required school events.
- Prepare or provide a variety of daily meals (with the exception of school lunches) and access to food for snacks.
- Understand that having an additional person will result in higher utility costs and typical wear and tear of living space, appliances, etc.
- Maintain regular communication with JIEP and SDJ staff regarding the student(s) you are hosting.
- Be willing to take on parental responsibilities for the student, i.e., attending school, school events, meetings, etc, taking the student to the clinic if necessary, promoting participation in school, community, or local cultural events.
- Keep an open mind. Each student will have a unique personality and timeline for adjusting to a new setting.
"We have been a host family for the last five years. Having international students in our home has brought so much pleasure, joy, and a better understanding of a larger world. These students come as strangers, but leave with a piece of our hearts. We grow to accept, understand, and cherish their differences in both cultures and manners; and they grow too, in understanding and acceptance." -Renee C.
"We have had the pleasure to host a student, and share our home and family, each of the last three years. Our first student was an artist, our second was very studious, and our third loved music and we were so proud to watch her in the school musical, Music Man. Each was unique and special and we greatly enjoyed having them be part of our family. We enjoyed activities together such as paddle boating, paddle boarding, baking, playing cards and board games, and having our students have friends from school over. It was wonderful for us to share our traditions and theirs, and to fill our home with the laughter and youthful joy in our home that we have missed since our own children grew up. We hope the students we hosted have gained as much from us as we have from them. We will always keep in touch with the students we have hosted as they have become a part of our family." Veronica & John M.
"Our family has hosted students from China for 4 years. Each and every student has contributed so much in the growth of our family, as well as school and the community. They are our family!! ... I love that our family can give them experiences and adventures that are so different than their culture. They are not afraid to explore outside of their comfort zone and it is amazing!! ... It is rewarding to communicate with their families and really get to know them. We’ve had the opportunity to welcome into our home one of our student's parents over the Christmas Holiday. It was magical to be able to speak, eat and celebrate with them... We all become extended families to each other. I cannot emphasize how much I love hosting students. It has so many benefits for everyone involved." Lisa F.
- What are typical arrival and departure dates for F-1 international students?
Students in our year-long program typically arrive in mid-August and depart in early June after graduation.
- What are the housing requirements for hosting an international student?
Each student must have a bedroom with a door, a bed, space for storage of clothing and personal items, and a quiet place to study. Sharing a bedroom with another child of the same gender and a similar age is permitted.
- What expenses should I expect while hosting?
The host family provides daily meals and snacks (with the exception of school lunches, which are provided by JIEP) and transportation to and from school and testing appointments (TOEFL, SAT, ACT, etc.). Household utility costs typically increase with an additional person residing in your home.
- Do international students have medical/health insurance?
Yes, international students are required to carry medical/health insurance to participate in this program. Policy information will be provided to host parents upon student arrival.
- Who should I contact with questions or concerns about the international student that my family is hosting?
Contact the JIEP Coordinator, Mary Christensen, with questions.
Local events and resources can be found on our Community tab.
Information about F-1 programs from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can be found here.
Although JIEP is not a J-1 Sponsor Organization, information about J-1 programs from the U.S. Department of State can be found here.