Who can host?
Recruiting host families is one of the most important aspects of coordinating a hosting program. The first question you likely have is: Who can host?
Xperitas volunteer host families:
- are curious about other cultures and desire to share their interests and way of life
- are of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and living situations
- have a young person in the home or are committed to finding a peer with whom their international student will spend time
- commit to speaking the target language in the home while hosting
- provide meals, a bed and local transportation for the international student
Families in your community are welcome to host an international student regardless of whether anyone in the home speaks the visiting student's language. It’s not unusual for students who are learning French or German to host a Spaniard, or vice versa. What’s important is that the host family is eager to learn about their international student and share their interests and daily life!
What's the key to successful recruitment?
Start early and spread the word far and wide!
Begin by announcing the opportunity to host within your school and community networks. Xperitas provides materials to help you promote the hosting program along with helpful information to share with prospective host families.
Organize informational meetings to provide details and answer questions about the hosting program. These meetings are a great way to provide prospective families with the inspiration and support they need to commit to hosting. Xperitas has suggested meeting agendas to assist you.
Be sure to mention the hosting discount! Families who host an international student earn up to $150 credit toward a future Xperitas travel program or a rebate if they have already participated in an Xperitas travel program. This amount may also be combined with the $200 Early Bird Travel Discount for programs abroad.
Keep in mind that recruiting is an active and ongoing process that requires determination and persistence. Xperitas is here to support you along the way and has additional recruitment tips and materials available. Remember that your excitement about the hosting experience is one of the most powerful recruitment tools you have. Share your enthusiasm; it will inspire and encourage others to get excited about hosting as well!
Registration and Application
Families hosting a student in the U.S. need to complete the Xperitas Host Family Application. (Family Stay Coordinators in other countries may use their own registration process.)
Remind families to list your name as the person who referred them to the hosting program. Once Xperitas receives the family’s application, we will send you a copy for your records so you can follow up with the family. Then, just follow these three easy steps to finish the process:
Screen host families and conduct reference checks
Before you place international students with the host families you've recruited, you will need to screen your host families by completing a home visit and reviewing the code of conduct with the host family. This process will help you feel confident about the family's ability to host and will aid in matching the visiting students with families. You will receive a home visit checklist for your reference along with the code of conduct form from Xperitas.
Match host families with students
Now you’re ready to match your host families with the international students! Xperitas provides you with profiles of the international students that contain information about the visiting student, photos and a letter written by the student to his/her future host family. Using this information, along with the information and preferences provided by the host families in their applications, you will evaluate and determine placements. Consider the following as you make the matches:
- Family Time Commitment – do you have families that can only host for a specific timeframe?
- Age and Gender – is there a peer in the home or neighborhood who is within 2-3 years of age of your international student? If the international student will share a room with another youth, they must be the same gender.
- Student and Family Interests – what similarities do you notice between the visiting students and the host students/families?
- Allergies – do you have any international students with specific allergies that may affect their placement?
Communicate matches to Xperitas and host families
You must notify Xperitas of all host families and the international students with whom you've matched them. Depending on the program, we may request that you notify us upon making each match, or that you provide a spreadsheet of all matches once all students have been placed. We will connect the host families and the international students in our registration system and confirm placements with you. We will also report the placement to our partners abroad and/or send the host family confirmation of their acceptance into the program as applicable.
Once the match has been confirmed, please encourage the host family to begin communicating with the international student they will be hosting as soon as possible. The more time families and international students have to get acquainted before arrival, the more comfortable and prepared both parties will be!