Answers to frequently asked questions about hosting
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
How long do we host? When do the students come?
Host families open their home to a student for 1-3 weeks. Visit dates and length of stay depend on the program. Contact Xperitas or your local Family Stay Coordinator for more information.
Will we get paid for hosting?
Host families are volunteers and are not paid for hosting. Families who host a student and travel on a Xperitas program will receive a rebate or credit on their travel program. For some programs, families may be eligible to receive a small stipend for the cost of additional food.
What is the cost of hosting?
While there is no “fee” for hosting, an additional person in your home does, naturally, increase the cost of food, transportation and activities you do as a whole family. The international students arrive with their own spending money and Xperitas provides guidance in our preparation materials for discussing expectations with your student.
What do we do with our student?
Students participate in an Xperitas program to live with a host family and learn what daily life is like for families in the destination. Xperitas expects host families to include the international student they host in their normal activities. You may wish to show your student what’s special about your community or plan a few outings, but Xperitas does not expect you to spend extravagant amounts of money to entertain your student.
What if our children work or attend camp during the summer?
Families with active, busy lives can be very successful hosts! Some students attend camp with their host sibling, participate in family vacations or go to family reunions, weddings and other summer events. Families can also lead more relaxed, stay-at-home lives.
Are there organized group activities?
Some international students participate in organized activities or sports camps, depending on the program type and location. Many international students choose a program with a family stay only and have no organized activities during their stay. Check with your local Family Stay Coordinator or contact Xperitas to learn the specifics for your area.
Does our family need to speak another language?
No. The international students are participating in the program to practice and be immersed in the target language. We ask that families commit to speaking the target language in the home while hosting their international student.
Who is in charge of the program?
A dedicated Xperitas staff member oversees each program. Together with Family Stay Coordinators in the destination, this staff person provides guidance and information about hosting. Xperitas staff are on-call 24/7 while the international students are in your community.
The local Family Stay Coordinator is a member of your community and the first person you can contact when you need assistance. He or she is available to answer questions or address concerns you may have before, during and after your family hosts.
Some programs may have a Group Leader, an adult who travels with the international students and serves as both cultural liaison and chaperone during the program.
What if a problem arises?
Xperitas supports you every step of the way. Your local Family Stay Coordinator, Group Leader (if applicable) and Xperitas staff person are all available to support you throughout the international students' visit. If a problem arises, contact your local Family Stay Coordinator and he or she will assist you. Xperitas staff are also on-call 24/7 during the program.
What if our interests are different from our student’s interests?
International students have varied and diverse interests, just like your family. The Family Stay Coordinator and Xperitas do their best to make sure your family and the student you host share common interests. International students are prepared and excited to learn about your family’s way of life, and we invite you to engage in new activities together as well!
Can we share a student with another family?
We prefer to place students in one family for the full hosting time. When this arrangement is not possible, international students may be able to split their stay between two host families. If your schedule keeps your days busy but you’d still like to host, consider teaming up with a friend to share the daytime responsibilities.
What if I need more information to help me make a decision about hosting?
We understand! While we have a lot of information on our website, it can be helpful to talk with others. Your local Family Stay Coordinator is a great resource, and of course you are always welcome to call Xperitas. We’re also happy to connect you with a former host family who can tell you about their experience and share their insights on hosting.
What’s the next step?
Contact your local Family Stay Coordinator, or apply to host (U.S. programs only)! All U.S. host families must complete the Host Family Application in full to be considered for hosting. Family Stay Coordinators in other countries may use their own registration processes. It’s best to list references that are easy to reach, and at least one reference should be someone who has visited your home.
Your application will be reviewed (if applicable) and your participation will be confirmed as soon as possible. While we do our best to work with your preferences, sometimes we need more host families for students of a particular gender or from a particular country. The sooner you submit your application, the better we are able to match your family with an international student.
Once your participation has been confirmed, you will receive detailed information about the student your family will be hosting along with resources to help you prepare for the experience.