SRS Homestay Refund Policy
Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all SRS Policies on a regular basis for updates.
StudentRoomStay Homestay (SRS Homestay) is responsible for managing the expectations of the Student, Host and other related parties with respect to maximizing the opportunity for a successful homestay placement.
It is important that all parties are clear on the relevant refund and associated policies regarding these processes.
For high school and younger students in an academic school year program please click here to view our Refund policy for the Academic Year High School Program.
For all other students and guests, Homestay fees are generally made up of two types of payments.
1. Homestay Matching Fee
This fee is paid to SRS Homestay to confirm that a placement is required. It covers the cost of host recruitment, training and assessment and the work associated with the matching process. On receipt of the initial payment, SRS Homestay will review the Student’s profile and preferences and commence the work required to find a well-matched and appropriately certified Host for the Student. The Matching Fee is not refundable once payment has been received.
One host family profile will be sent to the Student within thirty (30) days after the first payment is received.
If SRS Homestay is unable to provide a minimum of 1 host family option who meets SRS Homestay standards, then the matching fee will be returned.
If we provide 1 host option and you do not agree to the option, requests for additional host family profiles may result in additional fees. SRS Homestay does not discriminate against any host families in our registry based on age, race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and marriage or family status.
Students requesting an expedited match of less than 30 days, will pay an additional fee to expedite the match. If the SRS is unable to provide one host family option who meets SRS standards within the expedited timeline (1 week or 2 weeks), then half of the total fee (matching fee and expedite fee total) will be returned.
*Matching Fee is refundable in the event a student does not arrive to the US due to a visa rejection (proof of school admission and at least three attempts of visa interview required) if the Student has provided a minimum of three business days’ notice.
2. Homestay Weekly Fees
The weekly fees are paid to SRS Homestay to cover the payment to the Student’s Host, support services and monitoring of the homestay placement. Weekly fees are made up of a weekly SRS Service Fee and a weekly host stipend. An invoice for the minimum period of weekly fees (four weeks) will be generated once a suitable host match has been found. The weekly fees must be paid before a placement can be confirmed. Weekly Fees must be received by SRS within 5 business days of student receiving the host family option in order to confirm the placement. Failure to pay the weekly fees within 5 business days may result in the host family option no longer being available and requests for additional options will require the payment of an additional matching fee. Weekly fees are refundable if the minimum two-week notice period is met.
If the Student cancels their placement and provides more than two weeks written notice prior to arrival, their weekly fees will be refunded.The Matching Fee is not refundable.
If the Student cancels their placement and provides less than two weeks written notice prior to arrival, the student will forfeit payment for two weeks plus the Matching Fee Deposit. Any additional weekly fees paid will be refunded.
In the event a student does not arrive to the US due to a visa rejection (proof of school admission and at least three attempts of visa interview required), the weekly Fees and matching fee will be refunded if the Student has provided a minimum of three business days’ notice. If the required notice is not provided, SRS Homestay will retain the Matching Fee and two weeks’ payment of the weekly fees. Any remaining funds will be refunded.
Pre-arrival Changes or Delays:
If a Student is unable to arrive by their intended start date due to a visa delay or course change, the Student may defer their placement until visa approval is granted, or the course is rescheduled.
There will be no charge for this change if SRS Homestay is advised in writing of any changes at least three business days prior to arrival. All fees will be transferred to the new placement.
The Student may be required to pay another Matching Fee for a new placement, and up to two weeks of homestay weekly fees, if SRS Homestay is not advised in writing of these changes at least three business days prior to arrival.
SRS Homestay requires a minimum of five days’ notice once a Student’s visa has been approved to ensure a Host can be arranged for the new arrival date.
If a homestay placement has been confirmed and a Student is unable to arrive by their intended start date, SRS Homestay cannot guarantee the same Host will be able to accommodate the Student for their new dates. A new placement may be arranged once the Student’s visa is approved and new arrival details are confirmed.
All other changes or delays will be subject to the same notice periods and penalties as detailed in the Pre-arrival Cancellations section. The Student will forfeit the Matching Fee Deposit and up to two weeks of homestay fees if adequate notice is not given.
Post-arrival Changes and Cancellations:
Once a Homestay placement has commenced, SRS Homestay is unable to refund weekly fees for the Student's initial period of homestay (usually four weeks). The Matching Fee Deposit is also not refundable.
If a Student is unhappy with their chosen homestay Host family, they should contact SRS Homestay to discuss.
SRS Homestay will liaise with the Student and Host to try to rectify any concerns and assist through the ‘settling in’ period.
The Student is required to provide SRS Homestay and their homestay Host with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they intend to move out of homestay.
This notice period cannot commence during the first two weeks in homestay.
If a Student gives less than two weeks’ notice of their intention to move out, they will still be required to pay weekly fees for two weeks following the date on which they have given notice.
If the Student wishes to change Host families after the first four weeks, and there are not adequate grounds for the change, the Student may be charged another Matching Fee for SRS Homestay to find a new homestay. This applies to each new placement a Student applies for.
The Student is still required to provide the minimum of two weeks’ notice to SRS Homestay and the original Host before moving to another homestay.
Weekly fees will need to be paid a minimum of two weeks before the transfer date in order to cover the first payment to the new Host family.
There will be no refund if the Student chooses to leave without serving out the required notice period.
If SRS Homestay is required to transfer a Student’s homestay placement more than three times and there has been no SRS Homestay policy breach by the Host/s, SRS Homestay reserves the right to discontinue its services for the Student.
Transport to a new SRS Homestay homestay will be coordinated by SRS Homestay if the Student is under 18. The Student is responsible for any additional costs incurred for packing, moving, cleaning a room after departure, or damages to the room or property.
If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement and there has been no SRS Homestay policy breach by the Student, the Host must give two weeks’ notice so SRS Homestay can arrange a new homestay placement for the Student. If the Host requires the Student to move immediately, SRS Homestay will make every effort to find another available Host and the homestay placement will be transferred as soon as possible. If no other Hosts are available, the Student will receive a refund or credit of the remaining nights.
If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement due to the Student breaching SRS Homestay policy or not complying with the Host’s house rules, the Student will be required to move immediately. If, after SRS Homestay counseling, the Student can be placed with a new Host family, the Student will be charged an additional Matching Fee prior to a new placement being confirmed.
If a homestay placement needs to be cancelled due to an SRS Homestay policy breach by the Host, SRS Homestay will make every effort to arrange placement with a new Host family if the Student requests it.
Note: Students under age 18 must obtain approval from the parents and Designated Guardian in the USA prior to leaving the program.
3. Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement - General
The party requesting to cancel or change a homestay placement (i.e. the Student or the Host) must notify SRS Homestay in writing to formally lodge their request.
The Student must provide SRS Homestay with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they wish to change their package.
SRS Homestay will be responsible for contacting the other party to advise them of the request to cancel or change the homestay placement.
Once the cancellation or change has been approved, SRS Homestay will notify both parties to confirm the details of any reimbursements, refunds and transfer information as applicable.
4. Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement – Room Holding
Please refer to the SRS Homestay Room Holding Policy for notice periods and communications required for any room holding requests.
5. Airport Pickup Policy
The Student is required to contact SRS Homestay as soon as they are aware of delays to their scheduled flight and/or their arrival information.
SRS Homestay tracks the flights online: if they are made aware of a flight delay at least an hour before the original flight landing time, they will wait another two hours (or until the delayed plane lands at the airport.)
If airport pickup has been booked and the Student misses their flight or fails to provide updated arrival information, then there will be no refund or credit for the unused transportation. After business hours* this notice must be provided via phone and email.
There will be no charge for changes if notice is given at least an hour before the original flight landing time. After hours this notice must be provided via phone and not email.
The Student will need to pay for a new booking if pick up is required at another time.
The instructions for meeting the driver at the airport will be detailed on the Student’s arrival report. If the Student has not met the driver at the designated location within the expected time frame, the driver will leave the airport and the cost of the pre-paid APU will be non-refundable. The Student will be required to pay again if the driver needs to return to the airport to pick them up.
If the Student finds an alternate way to/from the homestay, there will be no refund or credit given for unused airport pick up services.
*Note: business hours are between 9.00am and 5.00pm in the local time of the SRS Homestay office the Student is assigned to.Late/Early Arrival/Departure Fees will apply for airport transport before 8am or after 8pm. Late Airport Notification Fee will apply for arrivals and departures given less than 2 weeks notice.
For Students using SRS Homestay purchased medical insurance, all fees are due before services will begin. Once services have begun, all insurance fees paid to SRS Homestay are non-refundable.
7. Damage Deposit
The damage deposit is fully refundable if the placement is ended without any damages. If damages are incurred during the placement, the damage deposit will be used to fund the damage charges in part or in full depending on the cost. If damages incurred are more than the damage deposit amount, it is the responsibility of the student, parents and/or sending agency school or partner to cover the remaining damage costs or incurred expenses. If damages are incurred that are less than the damage deposit, the difference will be refunded after the placement has ended.
8. Group Homestay
Groups are generally paid in full prior to arrival and are arranged through a tour group organizer for a set duration. Students can therefore not give notice to move out of homestay and a refund of homestay fees will not be permitted once the placement has commenced (normal pre-arrival policies around refunds will apply). Any changes should be requested through the tour group organizer.
9. Approved Refunds
No cash refunds will be processed. If the original payment was made by credit card, we will refund back to the same card. Credit card and third party processing fees will be deducted from the refund total and are non-refundable. If payment was not made by credit card, approved refunds will be deposited into a domestic American bank account. If no American bank account is available, we will refund via wire/telegraphic transfer to a foreign account. A $45.00 US service charge will be deducted from the refund total. Refunds will be processed within twelve weeks after the Student has left homestay and appropriate bank details have been received. SRS Homestay cannot refund a Student or backdate claims against their Fees if SRS Homestay has already paid the Host.
Please click here to view the Refund Policy for Academic Year High School Program.
Updated May 26, 2022