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Meals & Cooking → Guidelines for Hosts
Meals & Cooking → Guidelines for Hosts

Do host families need to buy food? Do they need to cook for their student? Here's everything you need to know.

Updated over a week ago

Good news—you always choose the level of homestay you provide. Whether or not you'd like to provide meals is completely up to you. We understand that life stages and timing can have an impact on your availability as a host family, so you can change your host preferences at any time and/or accept hosting opportunities on a case-by-case basis.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow if your international student's homestay package does include meals:

Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch are self-serve, so you will need to have food available for your student, but you do need to prepare it.


We ask that dinner (if you’ve chosen to offer it) be served at least 4-5 days each week and include interaction and conversation with your student.

💸 Host stipend payments are reflective of each package offered; a reimbursement for the host family's costs and effort. Hosts who provide meals for their students will receive a higher stipend rate than those who do not.

Meals may sound like a hassle at first, but our hosts confirm what we know to be true: that mealtimes are the best and most rewarding times to connect and build friendships with your student (especially if you are already cooking for yourself or your family anyway).

Including your student in mealtimes will make a much richer experience for everyone.

  • Be clear with your student which food is theirs and which food you would prefer they do not use.

  • If you have chosen to host a student with no meals on their plan, you do need to make the kitchen available to your student for them to use if they need to.

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