By on August 28th, 2013

Host Tips for Building a Good Relationship

International students who travel to study English abroad in the US appreciate the cross-cultural experience

As guests, most students make the effort not to inconvenience their host family, so they feel comfortable in their own home. Many travelers coming from European and Eastern countries bring with them the sense of respect and value of family that is engrained in their countries’ old world traditions. In fact, some of the first phrases that guests and hosts in a homestay for international students learn from one another are “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome.” Often students refer to their host as their ‘homestay parents’. It brings a sense of security, belonging and family that students need when living so far away from home.As a host, make sure all your questions get answered.


 Tips for selecting an international homestay company:

  1.  Learn about the expertise, reputation and longevity of an organization through website research.
  2. Be cautious of companies offering pay that far exceeds the norm for your area; it may indicate a newer, less experienced, and understaffed establishment.
  3. Expect a home visit from the company, which shows their concern to assure proper matches, accommodations and responses to hosts’ questions.
  4. Find companies with extensive staff to support you as a host in case any concerns arise.
  5. Consider working with more than one company to assure your student bedroom will be occupied during your desired periods.


After the initial welcome, the student’s college or university study schedule usually integrates itself easily into daily life. Typically, the homestay for international students does not impose major changes in the family’s routine to accommodate the student. In fact, the US ‘host-parents’ often find themselves surprised at how independent even the younger international students can be. Even though in a foreign country, they figure out and regularly use public transportation (a habit more frequented overseas than in the US), they make friends of their own age and from other countries quickly, and they come here with a purpose to study or learn English. So, they remain highly motivated and disciplined.

On occasion, students need emotional support. Our experience tells us that a successful homestay occurs when the student and host develop a bond and when the student and host feels welcomed and comfortable. Most visitors engaged in homestay for international students like to turn to the host for some things they don’t understand, which may include a certain bus route, unfamiliar food items, or travel destinations that the host family recommends. The family structure brings a sense of security to the student who comes to explore new horizons.

If, for some rare reason, a relationship may not run smoothly, USH is readily available to answer both students’ and hosts’ questions from the moment we offer a student to a host and throughout the homestay.

Of course, both parties who participate in homestay programs enjoy the cultural exchange that occurs over meals and in conversation. This is the reason that draws interested hosts and internationals together for a homestay for international students —to enjoy and learn from each other’s company, in the most comfortable of settings.

AT USH, our overall goal is to help hosts and students form long-time and lasting friendships.