How to Host International Students


How to Host International Students: A Guide for Host Families

Hosting international students can be a rewarding experience that allows you to learn about different cultures, build lifelong friendships, and make a positive impact on someone’s life. As a host family, you have the opportunity to provide a safe and nurturing environment for these students while they study abroad. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of hosting international students and answer some frequently asked questions to help you make the most of this experience.

1. Prepare Your Home:
Before hosting international students, it’s important to prepare your home to ensure their comfort and safety. Make sure you have a spare bedroom with a bed, desk, and storage space for their belongings. Create a welcoming and inclusive environment by decorating the room with items representing your own culture as well as theirs. Additionally, ensure that your home is clean and tidy, and consider providing them with their own set of house keys for independence.

2. Establish House Rules:
Set clear expectations and house rules from the beginning. This will help create a structured and organized environment for everyone involved. Discuss topics such as curfews, meal times, chores, and any other specific rules you may have. Be open to compromise and encourage dialogue to ensure everyone feels comfortable and respected.

3. Cultural Exchange:
Hosting international students is a unique opportunity for cultural exchange. Encourage conversations about their home country, traditions, and language. Likewise, share your own culture, customs, and traditions with them. This exchange of knowledge will not only enrich their experience but also foster understanding and appreciation for different cultures.

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4. Language Support:
Language barriers can be a challenge for international students. Offer language support by providing access to language learning resources, such as books, language learning apps, or even enrolling them in local language classes. Be patient and understanding when communicating with them, and encourage them to practice their language skills in everyday situations.

5. Support their Studies:
International students are primarily in your country to study. Encourage their academic success by providing a quiet and conducive study environment. Offer assistance with homework, assignments, or any challenges they may face in their coursework. If possible, connect them with local resources such as tutors or study groups.

6. Explore Local Activities:
Help international students integrate into the local community by involving them in local activities. Take them to cultural events, museums, or landmarks in your area. Encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, or sports teams at their school. This will not only help them make friends but also give them a deeper understanding of your community.

7. Respect Privacy and Independence:
While hosting international students, it’s important to respect their privacy and independence. Give them space to explore their new surroundings, make their own decisions, and maintain contact with their home country. Encourage them to share their experiences but also allow them the freedom to have their own personal time.


Q: How long do international students typically stay?
A: The length of stay varies depending on the program and individual circumstances. Some students may stay for a few months, while others may stay for a full academic year.

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Q: Will I receive financial compensation for hosting?
A: Yes, host families are typically compensated for hosting international students. The amount varies depending on the program and location.

Q: What if there is a conflict between the host family and the student?
A: Conflicts may arise, but open communication is key. Encourage students to express their concerns, and work together to find a resolution. If the conflict persists, involve the program coordinator for further assistance.

Q: Can I choose the gender or age of the student?
A: Some programs allow host families to specify preferences regarding the gender or age of the student, while others may not. Discuss your preferences with the program coordinator during the application process.

Q: What if I don’t speak the student’s language?
A: Communication can still be possible through various means, such as translation apps or by utilizing the program coordinator as a translator if needed. However, it is recommended to have some basic understanding of the student’s language to facilitate a smoother experience.

In conclusion, hosting international students can be a wonderful opportunity for both the host family and the student. By preparing your home, establishing clear rules, and fostering cultural exchange, you can create a welcoming and supportive environment for these students. Remember to be patient, understanding, and open-minded throughout the process, as this will contribute to a successful hosting experience.