Earn Extra Income As a Host Family
While the best host families don’t house a student solely for the financial compensation, programs (like ours) that do offer a stipend are certainly very attractive to potential hosts and can ease the constraints of adding another member to the household.
The root motivation for any host family should always be to provide the most caring and nurturing environment for an international student, but it’s totally acceptable to enjoy the financial help that hosting a student can bring!
Expand Your Family’s Horizons Through Hosting
If you want to gain an expanded worldview for you and your children, housing an international student is a great option. These students usually want to learn as much as they can about American culture during their stay, and they are also happy to discuss aspects of their own countries and cultures with their host family.
While adjusting to cultural differences in how you and your student live can be challenging to work through, they are also eye opening and a great opportunity for teaching moments for you and your family. You will all get to learn together that there are other ways of going about things. These differences aren’t negative, just different! Getting outside ourselves in this way is a unique and valuable experience for any family!
See Your Surroundings with A Fresh Perspective
Hosting can really help you spice up your daily routine! So often we get busy and settle into certain routines in life. We end up eating at the same places, shopping at the same places, we stop taking the time to go on fun outings, etc. But for a family that chooses to host a student, you have the opportunity to see your environment with new eyes.
While your student is discovering your area for the first time, you get to rediscover all the fun places you may have forgotten about, or perhaps never knew were there!
Invest in the Life of An International Student
As you would imagine, time spent studying abroad for a student is exciting and full of potential, but it can also be a very lonely and challenging time, especially in the beginning when he or she is acclimating to their new culture and trying to meet people and make friends.
As a host family, you get to be a student’s first line of help and guidance, nurturing and encouraging your student in their new experience. You have the opportunity to encourage your student in their studies, helping them achieve the educational goals they set out to accomplish.
You can also be the gentle push they need to step out of their comfort zones and meet new people, to join a club or team to get more involved at their school, or to engage more with your family to make the most of their experience. These investments in time and care for your student often pay off quickly, and host families love seeing their student begin to blossom and thrive as the semester or year progresses.
Gain An International Network of Friends
After welcoming a student into your home, you’ll be growing your network of personal international connections. These connections often bear fruit in unexpected and exciting ways into the future, long after the homestay experience has ended for you and your student. Maybe five years from now you’ll decide to travel to your former student’s native country. You now have a personal contact in-country who might be able to help with translating, local recommendations, and maybe even a free place to stay!
Most international students are eternally grateful for the help they received from their host families and are happy to reciprocate given the opportunity.
Still not sure about the benefits of hosting? Check out these statistics about the impact you can make through becoming a host family!
More than 50% of students who studied abroad are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad and often see them during summer traveling.
95% of the students who were surveyed by The Institute for International Education of Students admitted that studying abroad gave them the opportunity to develop increased maturity, 96% gained self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
Students who studied abroad reported higher levels of intercultural awareness, with 98 % of respondents saying that study abroad helped them to better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% stating that study abroad contributed to their developing a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.