Q: How do I become a potential Host Family? A: We ask that you fill out our application packet. Included, is an application and a host family agreement. We also ask that you send photos of your home and family. One of our Local Coordinators will perform a home visit and interview your family in person. We will also conduct a criminal background check, and we will walk you through the next steps.
Q: When do the students arrive and leave? A: Most of the students come to the United States at the end of January or August. If there are no problems during the year, they will leave around the middle of June. AHA Homestay will then provide you with your student’s flight information prior to their arrival. We ask that the Host Family picks their student up at the airport.
Q: Can I choose the student? A: You have the choice of hosting a boy or girl and the age of the student. You can also help a student choose your family by indicating your hobbies, interests, and writing a letter to the potential student.
Q: May I host more than one International Student at a time? A: We recommend that only one student be placed with a Host Family at a time. However, exceptions can be made on a case by case basis.
Q: Do the students bring their own spending money? A: Yes, students will spend their own money on personal expenses such as school lunches and supplies, clothes, and entertainment.
Q: Do I have to drive my student to and from school? A: Your student may walk, be driven by a family member or a friend with a driver’s license, or take the school bus. It may be necessary to drive the student depending on circumstances.
Q: Is there any limitation on the use of internet-capable devices? A: Yes, students may use the computer when they need to do homework, but standard household computer rules apply in all other situations.
Q: What do I do if the student gets in trouble? A: You report the problem right away to your assigned Local Coordinator.
Q: What if the student breaks the program rules such as those regarding tobacco/alcohol use etc.? A: AHA Homestay will send a formal warning letter two (2) times to the student’s natural parents and to his/her home country’s agency. If the student still does not abide by the rules, he/she will be removed from the program.
Q: What if the student becomes ill? A: Students have medical and accidental insurance through a traveler’s insurance company. Should the student need to see a doctor for a minor illness, he/she will pay the doctor’s office first then submit both a doctor’s note and receipt to AHA Homestay for reimbursement. If the student goes to the emergency room for a major illness he/she will call the insurance company to inform them. If the student is incapable of making a phone call the Local Coordinator and Bilingual Headquarters will assist in the communication. There is no circumstance where the host family should be fiscally responsible for the students health care. The insurance company will pay the bill directly to the hospital. We encourage students to visit their local urgent care center as alternative.
Q: Can I communicate with the student’s natural parents? A: Please, do not communicate with parents directly. If you have any concerns or problems, please let before they come to the USA. If you need to communicate, please let AHA Homestay know and you can go through us to get in touch with student.
Q: We are traveling out of state to visit relatives. What is the procedure? A: Please inform AHA Homestay personnel if your host student plans on visiting another state with the host family. A travel release form needs to be signed by the student’s natural parents and AHA Homestay. As the student’s guardian, AHA Homestay needs to be kept abreast of the student’s whereabouts at all times. If the host student decides not to join the host parents on an overnight trip, other accommodations for the student need to be made with approval from AHA Homestay.
Q: Do host parents help with a student’s school assignments? A: While it would be very nice of you to help, it is not required. If a student needs extra academic support, a tutor can be arranged through AHA Homestay.
Q: Under what circumstances will a student change host families? A: A student may change host families if the student is not fed properly, if there are ongoing personal conflicts with family members, or on a case-by-case basis. We do make every effort to solve any issues before resorting to moving a student.
Q: What is the Host Family selection process like? A: After we receive your completed application and agreement, we make a one page informational profile of your family. We include basic information such as your names, occupations, other family members and pets. Also included are the photos that you sent AHA Homestay and a brief introduction to your family. We then send this profile page, along with a few others, to the student and their natural parents. The student and their family look at the profile pages and choose a family. They let us know who the chosen family is and then we inform you!