If you do not have much knowledge about hosting, you might think that having a stranger living in your house and sharing daily life with you and your family is a terrifying idea. Despite these fears, hosting a student can be a very enriching opportunity for you and your family members. When you host international students you and your family have the chance to learn about new cultures, languages, and make new friends worldwide.
If you have never hosted an international student before you should try not to believe everything you hear about it. You might come across some facts about hosting that everyone who has never hosted before would think are true, but aren’t. Here is at least three of those facts:
1. Hosts are financially responsible for the student’s expenses
Your role as a host is to provide the student with a private and comfortable room, continental breakfast, and a friendly and welcoming environment. As a host family, you are not responsible for the student’s expenses. All exchange students have health insurance and are advised to bring enough money for the duration of stay. The student is responsible for all their expenses including: school tuition, school materials, school activities, clothes, etc. The student should neither expect the host to provide an allowance nor to help them financially.
2. Hosts are legally responsible for the student
Hosting international student means you will be the student’s emergency contact during their stay, but does not mean that you will become legally responsible for them. Their parents will still be legal guardians, unless you are hosting an underage student and there was an agreement between you and Sara’s Homestay in regards to guardianship. The guardianship means that you will have more control over the child, including but not limited to: authorizing medical treatment or medical procedures in an emergency, signing release forms for field trips, and representing the interests of the child in any interaction with his or her school.
3. Hosts need to have a child in their home
Hosts are not required to have a child in their home. All types of families who have a spare bedroom and an interest in hosting international students are welcome to become a host. Whether you are an “empty nester” or a married or unmarried couple living together without a child, you can become a host. Hosting is an experience for all!
Do you have questions? Let us know in the comments below.