- Why become a host family? Becoming a host family for an international student is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a different culture, practice hospitality, provide a home-away-from-home experience for a child who is far from his parents.
- What does hosting entail? Each international student will need her own bedroom which includes a comfortable bed, a desk with a lamp and plenty of storage space. She will need access to laundry facilities. As the host you will be responsible for providing all of her food and transportation to and from school as well as extra curricular activities. The most important part of hosting an international student is welcoming him/her into your home and treating them like a part of the family.
- Who pays for what? You are responsible for paying for your student’s food and gas for transportation. Your student is responsible for paying for toiletries, clothing, school items, etc.
- Who pays if we go out for a movie? You would be expected to pay for a movie and if you eat dinner out – you would pay for that as well.
- What if we go on vacation? Going on a family vacation with your student is a wonderful way to include and introduce him/her to new places and experiences. If it works for you and for your student, please extend an invitation to join your family. If it includes airfare, the student would be expected to pay for that. If it was a road trip in the car – you would pay for the gas and any lodging and all meals. If any questions should arise about who should pay for what – please feel free to ask your homestay coordinator.
- What if my student needs to see a doctor? Your child is required to have medical insurance by the time he/she arrives in the United States. You will get a copy of the medical card to keep on hand. Your homestay coordinator will help you identify where to take your student if a medical need arises. Your student is required to pay for ALL MEDICAL expenses. They will submit a request for reimbursement after their visit.
- I’ve never hosted a student before – do I need previous experience? NO! Your homestay coordinator is interested in you welcoming in and caring for your student. No previous experience is required.
- Will I receive any help along the way? YES! Within the first week of your student arriving – your homestay coordinator will meet with you AND your student to go over an initial orientation. This will cover things like house rules, insurance questions, schedule, expectations, conflict resolution, etc. Additionally, your coordinator will meet with you monthly to offer encouragement and coaching, if necessary. If needs or questions come up between your monthly meeting times – your coordinator is happy to answer your questions.
- Will I be issued a 1099 for my monthly stipends. Yes. Homestay San Jose will issue a 1099 in January as it is required by law to do so.
- What if it turns out that our family isn’t a good fit for our student or our student isn’t a good fit for our family? If it turns out that the student and host family are not getting along – even after your coordinator has worked with you to resolve your concerns, your
coordinator will find another placement for your student. There will be a 30 day notice
given before that happens.
- How much is the monthly stipend for hosting a student? The monthly stipend for host families for the 2019-2020 school year is $1,700 – $2,000 for each full month your student lives with you.
- Is it possible to speak with others who have hosted before to ask them about their experiences? Yes. There are many wonderful hosts who would be happy to share about their experience hosting. Please ask your coordinator to put you in touch with one of them.
My name is Jenny Fitzgerald and I am the owner of Homestay San Jose. We are a growing company based in San Jose and we work very closely with Valley Christian, Apostles Lutheran, The Kings Academy and others. Because of this, we know our staff and our families very well and we offer homestay families who are involved, caring and competent in parenting students who are learning a new culture.
Your student’s coordinator will meet regularly with your student and his/her host family to ensure that everything is going smoothly. However, I am always available if a need arises and I can be reached by phone, e-mail or we chat.
I have a great working relationship with the staff at the above schools and we work as a team to make sure things are going well for our students. It is a high priority to me that your student feels cared for and knows what is expected of him/her so that they can succeed and thrive.
A little about me: I have been married to Andy for 19 years and we have four children. My oldest is Jake 18, then Dawson 16, Garrett is 15 and our daughter Carly is 11. We currently have a 15 year old boy and a 13 year old boy living with us who are both from China. Tober is a freshman at Valley Christian. Albert is in 8th grade at Valley Christian In addition to hosting 9 long-term students, we have hosted 12 short-term students for summer programs. We have been hosting now for 9 years. My husband is a pastor of a local church called The Bridge Community Church. I spend my time investing in my own family, my church family and my Homestay San Jose family of international students and their host families.
My younger sister was a foreign exchange student when she was a senior in high school. I learned from her about how critical it is for international students to have safe, loving adults who are available to them and who are engaged in how they are doing. My passion is to find a safe, loving home for your student where he/she will feel cared for and included.
I very much look forward to the opportunity to work with your student in the future. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or to request an application.