International Host Family Program

Elgin Academy celebrates diversity and we are pleased to accept applications from international students entering grades seven through twelve. We welcome families and students from across the globe to be embraced by our warm community and to graduate from Elgin Academy fully prepared for success in an American university or anywhere their lives will take them.

Host an International Elgin Academy Student

We invite you to become a part of the Elgin Academy Community of host families for our international students. As a host family you will:

  • Make the dream of international study possible for a deserving student.
  • Extend the warmth of your family to a student who is far away from home.
  • Make the world a friendlier place by sharing your family’s culture and traditions.
  • Have the opportunity to personally connect with an international family to cultivate friendship and goodwill.
  • Experience the fun of learning about another language and culture.

To find out more information about hosting an international student and the corresponding stipend, contact Dr. Diane Schael, Director of Admission.

International Student Testimonials

Yinuo Cui from EA's International Host Family Program

Yinuo “Krystal” Cui ‘18

“I don't know if you've heard of the Terra Cotta Warriors, but I am from the city where they are located, Xi'an, China. Two and a half years ago, I came to Elgin Academy as a freshman when I was only 14. Honestly, the first 3 months here were really long and painful due to the language barrier and cultural differences. However, EA teachers and students helped me to go through the tough transition, and I quickly adapted to the new environment due to their kindness and patience. In the academic field, EA has strict but nice teachers. I've improved so much not only in English but also other subjects.Moreover, I became an athlete because I learned how to play soccer, tennis, and more importantly, teamwork! Last, but not least, the most important thing I have obtained at EA is confidence. EA teachers would always tell me how much potential I have, and they would tell me to keep trying. My grades have gotten a lot better, and I am now a more confident person. All of my experiences at EA made me who I am and definitely made me a better person. Of course, behind all of this have been good host parents who have kept me on track and held me accountable, even when I was struggling."


Muwen Li from EA's International Host Family ProgramMuwen “Leila” Li ‘17

“Being an international student means the chance to become part of a completely different culture. I am always amazed by the many differences between China and the United States. Total immersion, both at Elgin Academy and with my host family, has helped me be a better student and has helped me become more fluent in English. My Elgin Academy education has taught me to think for myself and to be a problem solver. I believe all these things have prepared me to be a successful college student in America.”




Yefei Shen from EA's International Host Family ProgramYefei “Johnathan” Shen ‘16

"I applaud the bravery of international students who leave China at an early age to study in the "land of opportunity.” Choosing to come to America can be distressing because you have to leave your parents. A good host family can lend a supporting hand. Living and studying in America can be extremely challenging, as there are language and cultural barriers. Therefore, living with an encouraging family can be very beneficial to international students."







Host Parent Testimonials


Yue Zhao and his Elgin Academy Host Family

Margie Ward - Host parent to Yue “Fred” Zhao ‘15

"Having an international student at the time we did was nice because two of our children had left for college leaving our third as an only child. We were always used to a busy, crazy household, and it was getting a bit too quiet with only one child at home! Having the opportunity to offer our home to another student from a foreign country was great for all of us! The exchange of ideas and cultures was fun. I would highly recommend this experience to any family at Elgin Academy."





Muwen Li and her Elgin Academy Host FamilyLynn Martin – Host parent to Muwen “Leila” Li ‘17

“Leila has become a member of our family. My husband and I have truly enjoyed “parenting” her for the last three years. It has been exciting to watch her grow as a student and mature into young adulthood. I have witnessed Leila’s dedication to her studies, and it is wonderful to see her effort yield positive results! In the fall, she is off to the University of Washington to study computer science. I am very humbled to have had the opportunity to help her realize her dream of going to college in the U.S. Other highlights of my time with Leila include helping her discover her talent for baking and watching her develop into a decent field hockey player. Leila has enriched our lives and greatly improved the quality of life for Max, our cat who clearly loves her the best!"


Tiyani Chu and his Elgin Academy Host FamilyTanya Moore - Host Parent to Tiyani "Roger" Chu '19


"We are so happy to have Roger be a part of our family. We have two upper school students here at EA, so adding a third was an easy transition. It has been interesting to see how Roger has impacted our family in a positive way. My children spend more time with each other and our family does more activities together. We enjoy sharing out culture and traditions with an international student and it is fun to learn about China from Roger. He is a wonderful addition to our household and I would recommend hosting to anyone. It is a very rewarding experience."