Frequently asked questions

Hosting an international student is a big decision, and we’re here to help.

Browse our frequently asked questions, and if you’re not fully satisfied simply contact your local office.

What are my responsibilities as a host family?

Families must provide a bed, breakfast, packed lunch (for younger students only) and evening meal & have easy access to local transportation to and from the students course centre and a stable, caring environment. Host parents must submit an application, references, and are subject to a home visit by one of our experienced staff. Students bring their own spending money for personal needs, souvenirs, entertainment, and other incidentals.

I am not a "traditional" family, is it still possible to host?

Of course! Our hosts come in all shapes and sizes and we welcome such diverse families as single parent households, empty-nesters, and families with small children.

May I host more than one student at a time?

Yes, you may host up to four students. Some families like to host more than one student, as it gives the students a companion. It also gives your family the chance to learn more about another culture. Up to 3 students may share a room and up to 4 in your home, but all must have their own bed.

Remuneration?

All of our host families receive monetary compensation for hosting an EF student. This sum is meant to support your family in the weekly costs of hosting a student.

What if there is a problem with our student?

We boast nearly 50 years of experience of managing host families and your local accommodation coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week if you have any questions or concerns. Our students must comply with all program rules and our staff will ensure they follow these while with your family.

In case of an accident or illness, who do we contact?

Help is only a phone call away – EF staff are available to you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This will be detailed by your local office prior to the summer season commencing.

Where will our international student study?

EF students attend classes at a Centre in, or close to, your community. Courses include daily English and cultural lessons in the combined with a full activities program that students will take part in every day and in the evenings too as well as excursions on the weekend.

Communication is key! Open communication between you and your student is crucial for a successful hosting experience.

Tips for a successful hosting experience

  • Please be sure that the room is straightened up prior to their arrival. Have the bed made up and ready. It will show them that you really do care about them and are there to make this experience as pleasant for them as it will be for you.
  • If there is already a roommate in the room, please notify them that there will be a new student arriving so that they can clean up their belongings as well and be ready to welcome their new roommate.
  • Double check that the bathroom is tidy. Again, first impressions go a long way and if the students see that the bathroom is clean and straight when they arrive they will be more inclined to keep it that way. It sets a very good precedent.
  • Promote and encourage English in the household.
  • Please do not discuss your personal finances or room and board payments with your students. This information is confidential and can make your student feel uncomfortable.
  • Show your students your house, his/her bedroom, bathroom and other rooms available to the student.
  • Introduce your student to other family members and roommates.
  • Let your students know where they may find available appliances and make sure they understand how to use them. Do not assume they know; physically show them.
  • Familiarize your students with your house rules (washing clothes, meal times, use of the computer and internet, phone usage, curfew, kitchen hours, house key responsibility, etc.).
  • Agree on when the students may access the washer and dryer. While students are responsible for their own laundry detergent, bleach and fabric softener, please do not make the student pay to wash their clothes.
  • Your students are responsible for keeping their bathroom and bedroom clean. You may assign chores to your students to help keep all communal areas clean and tidy. Set up a method of keeping track of who does what chores. This should be communicated in a warm and friendly conversation and could be followed up in written form depending on the language level of the student.
  • Communication is key! Open communication between you and your student is crucial for a successful hosting experience.