homestay students

Hosts questions and answers

Here are frequently questions and answers for homestay hosts

1: Should I provide meals to guests/students?
2: Do I have to be living in the home with student/guest?
3: How long is usually student/guest average stay?
4: What do I do if the application will not accept my photos?
5: How many host families do you have?
6: How soon can I expect to have a student placed with me?
7: Do I have to own my home or apartment?
8: Do you check out the student?
9: Does it help to be bi-lingual?
10: Do most of the guests/students speak English?
11: Do your room have flexible rates?
12: How much do I earn?
13: Does HomeStay rate include utilities, and which utilities?
14: What areas of my home the student should have access to?
15: Do you ask the student for a damage deposit?
16: By joining program with your agency, do I have to work exclusively with you?
17: How long does it take to process my application?
18: Can I change the information on my application?
19: How many photos can I upload?
20: Can I specify a preferred gender?
21: Will there be any students under age 18?
22: Does your company pay the rent?
23: How many students am I allowed at the same time?
24: Will the student have a car?
25: Does the room need to be furnished?
26: If I have a furnished one or two bedroom suites in the house, is this suitable?
27: How near should my house/apartment the student’s school?
28: How do I know if my home location is suitable?
29: Can I be a HomeStay host even though I am a single person?
30: Do I get someone to come and visit my home?
31: After completing the application, is there a waiting list?
32: Does NO WAITING LIST mean that I will get a student or guest right away?
33: What if we did not hear from you for a period of time?
34: My place is not ready yet, should I apply now?
35: Is there a fee to apply and permanently add my home to your agency database?
36: What happens after I complete the application?
37: How do you book my guestroom?
38: How does the student or his parents pay me?
39: If the student would like to leave earlier, what should be the arrangement?
40: What do I do when the student arrives?

1: Should I provide meals to guests/students?
- NO. This is your choice, however if you can or are willing many students prefer to have their meals supplied by the hosting families. Please note that, in general, when you offer meals, it a good driver for additional occupancy and provides more additional comfort to your guest. Usually, breakfast can be prepared by the student, as it does not require cooking skills. Host or Student can pack lunch to go upon mutual agreement. Dinner is mostly prepared by the host who invites the student to dinner table with the rest of the family. Here are the meal plans that the agency accepts, no meals, breakfast only, breakfast and dinner, or three meals. Meals cost are always accounted for in the price when completing your initial host application form.

2: Do I have to be living in the home with student/guest?
- A HomeStay is (a home away from home) International students/guests prefer you to be sharing your home with them, giving you an opportunity to help them from time to time.

3: How long is usually student/guest average stay?
- About 6 months, but could be up to 1 or 2 years.

4: What do I do if the application will not accept my photos?
- Usually if any of the photos are not of type *.JPG or *.GIF files. Also sometimes it can long time to upload the photos due to site traffic or slow connection from your end. Also, you can also e-mail them to us with your full name and address and we will attempt to upload them for you.

5: How many host families do you have?
- Approximately 14,000 and growing. Thanks to our loyal host families.

6: How soon can I expect to have a student placed with me?
-  This is different between each homestay host. Your listing will be up for automatic and manual matching with International student requests. Based on destination city and other criteria. Please note that prepaid listing holders have the priority and additional benefits vs. unpaid free listings.

7: Do I have to own my home or apartment?
- No. but you must have a lease agreement for the duration of any homestay booking that you accept.

8: Do you check out the student?
- Yes, obtain home address information, identification, and more... International students are usually go through a screening process at their home country in order to be granted a study permit by our embassies abroad.

9: Does it help to be bi-lingual?
- Some time that can be very helpful, but students are expected to learn or improve their English. Most student exchange organizations, schools, colleges, and universities prefer that International students/guests stay in HomeStay for the same reasons.

10: Do most of the guests/students speak English?
- Most of them do, but some are beginners, intermediate or advanced. We also accommodate native or advanced English speaking students from other parts of the country and from anywhere in the world.

11: Do your room have flexible rates?
- Our rates are intended to be at a fair market value for your area, but ultimately the rate you receive for your room decided by you. It will be the agreed amount. Most homestay rates are based on the amount you indicated at the time of application or updated on your profile. We ask all hosts applicants try and stay within the market rate schedule indicated on our homestay rates pages. This will help you to ensure your room(s) are always occupied.

12: How much do I earn?
- You will earn up to 85% to 90% during homestay occupancy of your room. The agency make 10% to 15% of each successful booking. The percentage depend on your listing benefit package (prepaid vs. unpaid).

13: Does Homestay rate include utilities, and which utilities?
- YES, it does include utilities; like hydro, cable, Internet access, heat and hot water. Telephone is not included, but it is up to you.

14: What areas of my home the student should have access to?
- The student should have access to common areas of the house; like a living room, bathroom, garden, and you need to the student how to use your laundry machines and kitchen.

15: Do you ask the student for a damage deposit?
- No, we do not ask the student for damage deposit. It is not a standard procedure in hosting international students. If you are concerned about this, we recommend that you should have a home insurance policy in place. Some, hosts choose to ask student directly for half a month security and damage deposit upon arrival. They refund at the end of the stay.

16: By joining your Homestay program with your agency, do I have to work exclusively with you?
- No. we would just like to have the opportunity to place students with you, if you have a room available and we have the student interested that match your requirements. However, we are very loyal to host families, who give offer a great service to our students.

17: How long does it take to process my application?
- We try our best to get it completed within 72 hours.

18: Can I change the information on my application?
- Yes, you will receive an email with all your information, with a link which will take you to your edit page, where you may make all the changes you like.

19: How many photos can I upload?
- Up to 10 Photographs that include eight specified by name of the room and two additional of your choice for garden, view, etc... You can upload at the application time or upload them to your profile at a later date by accessing your profile by browsing your designated URL. Please note that the only format our application accepts is JEPG.

20: Can I specify a preferred gender?
- Absolutely, your home is your personal space and comfort zone. We want both you and our guests comfortable. Hosts who are comfortable accommodating both male and female students, may enjoy much better occupancy. You can also specify this in our application so our coordinator officer will take it into consideration when searching for placement students/guests.

21: Will there be any students under age 18?
-  No, usually not. Majority are university students. However, the agency does not discriminate based on age. Some parents still choose to use our service for younger ones. They usually meet or send someone to meet the host family.

22: Does your company pay the rent?
- No, the student will pay you directly every month or every week depending on the homestay booking arrangement and agreement.

23: How many students am I allowed at the same time?
- No, since each house configuration, size, and local bylaws are different,  there is no set limit to the number of students that you can host. Each student/guest must have his own private bedroom with a door and a window. Couples or students traveling together, they may share a room. If you host many students, we recommend that you check with local municipality and insurance broker regarding any limits that they may have for the safety of everyone involved.

24: Will the student have a car?
- Usually the students rely on public transportation.

25: Does the room need to be furnished?
- Yes, at least with a bed, closet, and desk with lamp. The more features the room has the more attractive it will be to students/guests.

26: If I have a furnished one or two bedroom suites in the house, is this suitable?
- Yes, must be fully furnished, have good heating for winter and good ventilation in the summary.

27: How near should my house/apartment the student’s school?
- We like to keep it with half an hour commute, but must be under one hour in public transit.

28: How do I know if my home location is suitable?
- You need to be with close walking distance to the public transport and within 20 to 40 minutes by transit from major ESL, Vocational, Community, or Academic Schools and Colleges.

29: Can I be a HomeStay host even though I am a single person?
- Yes, the agency does not discriminate against anyone. The student and his family are usually the final decision makers with regards to their preferences and choices that they make.

30: Do I get someone to come and visit my home?
- No, we mainly rely on the photographs and your honest descriptions that you provide us at the application time or during updates of your Homestay profile. Our online agency have about 14,000 host families in our portfolio in many cities and town. It is economically impossible for us to visit every homestay. However, we rely on student and guest feedback and surveys. We also tend to offer alternatives to unhappy clients.

31: After completing the application, is there a waiting list?
- No, there is no waiting list. However, it depends on supply and demand of area. We depend on a matching process between host and guests. We utilize a State-of-the-Art methods to match preferences and requirements of both parties. However, the final decision regarding any homestay booking is the student and/or yourself.

32: Does NO WAITING LIST mean that I will get a student or guest right away?
- Possibly, it depends on matching your geographical location, room amenities, and hosting preferences with those from students/guests. We do NOT utilize a waiting list nor first come first served bases policy; however, we are loyal to homestay hosts who have established a great track record of hosting our students and guests and we intend to keep their rooms busy for years to come.

33: What if we did not hear from you for a period of time?
- It could be simple of low market demand at certain times of the year or we could be missing necessary information from you profile, like photographs or contact email, phone number, etc... We encourage you saving access (URL) information to your profile that we first email you immediately after creating completing your application. You will need this information to access your homestay profile and keep your information and photographs up to date.

34: My place is not ready yet, should I apply now?
- YES, you should if you are sure about your plans, please specify the date each guestroom will be available ready in your application and update your profile regularly with photographs when your rooms are ready. Also you can update your profile and make your Room(s) Availability to No when it is available you can switch it to Yes.

35: Is there a fee to apply and permanently add my home to your agency database?
- YES, there are different options for the agency fees to host families in order to stay in our database, get listed on the agency websites and in the Homestay program.

36: What happens after I complete the application?
- Your profile will be entered in our list of contacts immediately and will be reviewed within 72 hours by a homestay coordinator. Please insure that you profile is complete in order to stay in our list for matching with students and guest. Remember to add good images to your application as soon as you are able to. Each time you update your profile, a Homestay coordinator will review your application for changes being made and validate your listing. Avoid adding contact details; i.e. telephone or email address in description text boxed, you profile may get deleted altogether or banned. You can only add contact details in designated fields of your profile application as required.

37: How do you book my guestroom?
- We will email you a request regarding a specific student or guest; we will include pertinent information, and ask you if you would like to host the student or make an offer. To make an offer it is pretty easy. Most likely three just three clicks.  When a student or a guest accept your offer, we will contact again and proceed with the booking arrangement. In the meantime, you will need to hold the room tentatively until we firm up a booking for you with the student or her/ his parents by asking for the down payment.

38: How does the student or his parents pay me?
- The student or guest is expected to pay the monthly Homestay fee/rent to you directly in Cash or by personal check upon arrival for the upcoming month. Some exceptions may apply with those students who wish to pay their hosts through the agency bank account with prior arrangement. The agency will confirm prepayment with the host.

39: If the student would like to leave earlier, what should be the arrangement?
-  Depending on the length of the homestay booking arrangement, the student/guest should give the host a four-week prior notice or vice versa, unless it is an emergency whereby a two-week notice or less should be sufficient.

40: What do I do when the student arrives?
- To a student or guest, first impression is very important; therefore, we highly recommend that you take the time out of your busy schedule to show your new student or guest around your neighbourhood and show where to catch the bus and get school. Some students would also like to open bank account at a bank branch nearby or get to know how to do their basic shopping.  As host, you also need to show your guest or student around your home and let them know how to use your kitchen equipment, laundry machines, and give them tips on how to stay safe in and outside your home and what to do in case of any emergency. Students normally get very busy later one when they start school, so first week is a great time to bond and know each other.