Host Family Program FAQ

What is the time commitment for hosting?

Host families are needed for long-term and short-term hosting.


Long-term hosting: Host families are needed to host students for an entire school year --beginning in August and ending in June. Even though most international students study at Elgin Academy for multiple years, we only ask families to commit to hosting one school year at a time.


Short-term hosting:  Host families are needed to host students for one or two weeks at a time. International students who visit Elgin Academy to look at our school in the winter or come to participate in a summer program need short term hosting. Additionally, host families are also needed who are willing to take an international student temporarily while a permanent placement is arranged or when a host family needs backup support.


What are the responsibilities of a host parent?

General responsibilities include arrival and departure transportation to the nearest major airport, transportation to and from school and school-related activities, providing daily meals and creating a safe and loving living environment. Additionally, host families are asked to provide each student with the care and support necessary to be successful.


What are the required living arrangements?

International students need a bed (non-inflatable or convertible) in a room of their own, access to a bathroom and laundry facilities, and a comfortable environment in which to study.


Is there support available?

Host families will receive a hosting orientation prior to the student's arrival. Once the student arrives, families will receive continued support and guidance throughout the duration of the hosting experience from the Director of International Studies.


How do I cover the cost of hosting an international student?

Host families are paid a stipend to cover the extra costs that are incurred with hosting an international student. For long-term hosting, stipends are paid monthly beginning at the end of August and continuing over the following 10 months, ending in May. Short-term hosting stipends payments are arranged based on each individual circumstance.


What makes a good host family?

Good host families possess a willingness to open their home to a student and to welcome the student into their family. They possess a desire to learn about another culture and a willingness to share their own.The ability to be flexible and clearly communicate expectations. They are willing to commit to supporting a student and helping them be successful.


How do I become a host family?

Becoming a host family is easy. It starts by filling out a short, online application. Once an application is submitted the Director of International Studies, an in-home interview session will be arranged. Approved families will be matched with international students who best fit each family’s personality and lifestyle. Once matched, an online interview between the student and the host family will be arranged. If both the host family and the student feel comfortable with the arrangement, the placement will be made official.


Application Process

For questions, please contact Katie Kruse, Director of International Studies, at or 847 695-0309 ext. 218.