Homestay Guidelines for Students

Know that the goal of the Homestay Program is to bring the diversity of international students together with the diversity of American homes and families with the hope that this shared experience will inspire lasting friendships and learning.

Please feel welcome into our homes. Do not be afraid to ask questions, speak openly and participate in regular family activities.

Your homestay owners will provide you with a copy of their house rules.  Please be sure to ask questions about anything you do not understand.

Please be courteous and respectful of the family and home. This means, for example, keeping your bedroom clean, and bathroom clean and dry; letting your homestay know if you will not be home for dinner or if you will be late coming home at night; being careful of how much noise you make when others are sleeping; learning the ‘house rules’ or special needs of your homestay.

Please attend to American customs regarding personal cleanliness.

Overnight guests or romantic visits, day or night, are not allowed. This is a family issue as well as a security issue. There are several homestays that have children for which this issue is especially important.

Check with the homestay about daytime visitors.

Please be careful about use of water, electricity, gas, etc. Be aware that these are expensive, especially during the summer and winter. Please limit showers to 15 minutes or less, turn off lights when leaving a room, and turn off televisions and computers when not in use or when sleeping.

Do not use homestay appliances such as washers/dryers until your homestay family shows you how to operate them properly and has given you permission to use them without supervision.

Please ask your homestay before using the home telephone and use a calling card for any long-distance calls.

You are here, above all else, to learn English. Please ask questions, and tell your homestay about your day.

You are expected to show respect to family members and behave responsibly at all times.

The continental breakfast is self-serve, and a family member usually prepares the evening meal. Remember that you need to clean up after you have breakfast.

Smoking, using alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are NOT permitted. However when smoking is permitted outside, extinguish your cigarette butt COMPLETELY and dispose of it properly. Please follow your homestay owner’s house rules regarding smoking outside the home.

Please remember that most problems come from miscommunications and are language or culture related problems. If you are confused or angry about something, it is probably because of some misunderstanding. Try to communicate with your family, ask questions if you don’t understand something. Talk to them (politely) if you are upset or angry. Then, if you need help resolving a problem with your homestay owner, please notify the homestay coordinators immediately at

Please do your best to fit into your homestay family’s normal routine, schedules and usual diet (although food likes, dislikes, and allergies will be taken into consideration by your family when making the evening meal).

You are responsible to reimburse your homestay family for any repairs due to damage to their home or property, or any outstanding bill, before you leave the home. On or before the day that you move into the homestay, you will pay the home owner a refundable security deposit to be used for damages and unauthorized bills incurred during your stay.

Please tell your homestay owner immediately if there has been any damage to their home or property.  There is more information about the security deposit below.

Students are not expected to do household chores beyond cleaning up after themselves and maintaining their private living spaces. Participation in household routines such as clearing the dinner table, however, is considered good manners in our culture.

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