Hosting FAQs

General Hosting FAQ’s

What is expected of the host family?

  • Provide a supportive home environment
    Our international students are all traveling to the US to improve their English and to experience ‘real’ American culture. All you need to do is welcome them into your home life, encouraging them to become an active member of your family and community. Be supportive of their learning, open minded to their culture and engage them with your hobbies and interests – hosting is all about sharing!
  • Provide a comfortable room and board
    The most basic requirement for hosting is of course to provide a room and meals for your student. Either a private room or a bed in a shared room with your own kids of similar age and same sex is perfect! Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner must also be provided.
  • Transportation
    Host family responsibilities regarding transportation vary by program.

How do I become a Host Family?

  1. Host Family Application and Photo Album
    Each interested host family must fill out an application, complete with photo album, for us to share with your chosen international student – this reassures students and allows them to get a glimpse of their homestay before they arrive!
  2. Home Visit
    Once your application is completed, we will schedule a convenient time for a home visit. This necessary step allows us to meet face-to-face and answer your questions about the hosting experience. We are also able to evaluate the space you wish to provide for your international student. This appointment usually takes about an hour and is a great opportunity for you to have all your questions answered.
  3. Criminal background checks & references
    To comply with child safety regulations for our students, criminal background checks will be run on all adults 18 and older in the home. We also ask you to submit family references that describe your family’s character and home environment.
  4. Match with your student
    Xplore’s staff works hard to find a student who is a good match for your family. You can specify a preference of a student’s age, gender and nationality and Xplore will then review our current student profiles to find a good fit!

What are the requirements for a host family?

Families provide a safe and loving home, meals, and their own space. Host families welcome their host student into their home as a family member, and include them in their daily life. We expect you to live and work as you normally do, which provides our student with a genuine experience of American life. Our host family community is very diverse and we welcome families of all shapes and sizes – single parents, empty-nesters, same-sex couples, young couples, families with and without children.

What are the benefits of hosting?

Opening your home to a new family member is a rich and rewarding experience! You will make a new friend and learn about their culture. Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication. Please see below for program specific benefits for your family.

I don’t have children of my own or my children have left home. Can I still host?

Yes. Families with or without kids are welcome to participate in our hosting program. We welcome families of all kinds including same sex couple families, retired couples, and single parents.  Our families are representative of the diversity we love to celebrate! We do ask that our families help their students get connected with same age American peers during their stay.

I live in Wisconsin, do you have students choosing other areas?

Our current programs include Colorado, Washington, North Carolina. We are always open to creating new programs in new areas. Please contact Xplore for more information.

Where will my student be from?

We work with many overseas schools and partners throughout the world.  Most of our students are from Germany, Spain, Italy, France and China.  Do you have a strong interest in learning French cuisine, practicing your Spanish or about Chinese culture? We do our best to find great fits between our students and our families, so please let us know if you have a nationality preference for hosting.

What will the English level be of my student?

English skills vary although most are of an intermediate level. They are required to have a minimum of a pre-intermediate level prior to a homestay program. The most enjoyable part of hosting is learning new ways to communicate!

Can the student share a room with my child?

Yes – with our short term programs, however we ask that they are of a similar age and the same gender.

What support can I expect from Xplore USA?

We have a strong network of support available to all our host families during their hosting career – from Local Coordinators to Program Managers and Directors, who can answer any questions you have at any time.

We aim to give all our families as much information prior to welcoming a student, with additional training for those hosting long-term so that families feel as prepared as possible.

What happens if I have an issue while I’m hosting?

While issues are rare, Xplore has a 24/7 emergency support number. Xplore staff will help you resolve any issues that come up.

My children have chores. Should I give my student chores?

Yes. This really helps them feel a part of the family – they should have expectations similar to your son or daughter, not a guest. We encourage all families to set expectations early on in your student’s stay.

Will the student have medical insurance while they are here? How does that work?

Yes, all students have comprehensive medical and travel insurance. This insurance policy covers costs for emergency medical treatments and other services abroad, even including fees for transportation, if necessary. Procedures for accessing student benefits will be covered during your host family orientation.

How long does the application process take?

The application includes details of each family member, the home amenities, environment, references and photos of the home and family members. The home visit takes about 1.5  hours or possibly more, as we feel it is important to fully inform our families and we value questions you may have. ​Additionally, we require criminal background checks on all household members 18 years of age and older.

My family practices our faith regularly. Can I invite our student to join us?

Both host families and students may have deeply held religious beliefs. Putting those of different religions together in the same home can be an excellent opportunity for intercultural learning and understanding. We ask our families to handle this carefully so that students are not left with the impression that their host family is trying to ‘convert’ them to their faith. On the other hand, a student may have a strong belief and need to attend a service of their religion and we ask our families to assist with connecting them with someone who may be able to assist with this.

We feel it is important to share the information we give students before arrival:

“You are not required to attend religious services with your host family. You may be invited, and it is your choice to attend or not. We do recommend you try the experience as many churches have youth groups that offer opportunities to make friends and attend events. Also it is a family day and important to the family to spend this time together. If you decide to attend only once, for the experience, it is best to state that at the outset so no feelings are hurt when you choose not to return.”

My family follows a special diet. Can we host?

Absolutely! We have students each year who follow vegetarian, gluten free, vegan or Halal diets. We use our host family application process and our student applications to match these students with families who are a good fit.

I don’t live in any of the locations you listed - can I still host?

We have opportunities throughout the country for hosting – some of which are not listed specifically on our website. Please complete an inquiry form to find out how to host in your area.

We have a family trip planned, can we take the student with us?

Absolutely! The main reason that students come to the US is to be immersed in English, and what a better way than on a trip with their new family. Please let Xplore know your travel during the application process and we can be sure to inform the student before they arrive of all the fun, new things they will experience.

Asheville Camp FAQ’s

What is expected of the host family?

  • Provide a supportive home environment
    Our international students are all traveling to the US to improve their English and to experience ‘real’ American culture. All you need to do is welcome them into your home life, allowing them to get to know your family and your community. Be supportive of their learning, open minded to their culture and engage them with your hobbies and interests – hosting is all about sharing!
  • Provide a comfortable room and board
    The most basic requirement for hosting is of course to provide bed and boarding for your student. Either a private room or a bed in a shared room with your own kids of similar age and same sex is perfect! Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner must also be provided.
  • Provide transportation to and from day camp
    Host families should bring their student to camp Monday – Friday. Drop off is between 8 and 9 am and pick up is from 5-530. Camp is held in central Asheville.

What are the benefits of hosting at Asheville Summer Camp?

Opening your home to a new family member is a rich and rewarding experience! You will make a new friend and learn about their culture. Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication.

Host families may receive one free week of day camp for their child to attend. Discounted rates of 50% off are also available for additional weeks or campers. Xplore’s Day Camp offers foreign language lessons for American campers, community service opportunities and exploring the best of WNC!

How old will my student be?

Students are ages 12-18. Our day camp accepts American students from 8-18.

Can I host more than one student?

Yes, families often host between 1 and 3 students, however they must be different nationalities. Hosting more than one student can be an enriching experience not only for your family but for the students also as they also get to enjoy being host siblings and practicing their English with each other.

Can the student sleep on a blow-up mattress?

Yes – as long as they are in a comfortable sized space/room.

Do I need to buy the student’s food?

We ask that host families provide all meals, including packed lunches for the duration of the program. However, Xplore USA does provide several lunches at camp as well as a ‘Welcome’ and ‘Farewell’ Dinner/BBQ for all our host families and students.

Do I need to entertain my student and take them around?

We have a saying here at Xplore “WE entertain them, YOU enjoy them!”

We provide a lot of activities at camp that allow students to see the best of the area. This allows families to just be yourself and include them in whatever activities you usually do with your family on a regular basis.

As a parent, can I come to any of the Camp activities?

Yes, you are welcome on any excursion. Please let Xplore staff know ahead of time so that we can secure space for you.

I don’t live in central Asheville - can I still host?

Yes, we help coordinate carpooling among our families that live in the same area. It is not uncommon to have host families that live as far as an hour outside of the city.

Immersion Hosting FAQ’s

What is expected of the host family?

  • Provide a supportive home environment
    Our international students are all traveling to the US to improve their English and to experience ‘real’ American culture. All you need to do is welcome them into your home life, allowing them to get to know your family and your community. Be supportive of their learning, open minded to their culture and engage them with your hobbies and interests – hosting is all about sharing!
  • Provide a comfortable room and board
    The most basic requirement for hosting is of course to provide bed and boarding for your student. Either a private room or a bed in  shared room with your own kids of similar age and same sex is perfect! Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner must also be provided.

What are the benefits of hosting?

Opening your home to a new family member is a rich and rewarding experience! You will make a new friend and learn about their culture. Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication.

Host families receive a stipend to help cover the costs of hosting. Please reach out to Xplore to learn about stipends in your area.

How old will my student be?

Students can be ages 10-18, although the majority of students on this program are 13-17 years old.

Do I need to buy the student’s food?

We ask that host families provide all meals

Do I need to entertain my student and take them around?

Our immersion students do not attend any scheduled activities through Xplore. They travel to the US with us to experience the real life of an American teen during the summer. We encourage you to show them your favorite family activities in the area. Our experienced staff will share suggestions to keep students busy and engaged during their stay. Connecting them with american teens their age and busy is what makes for a great experience for all.

Academic Year/Semester/School Immersion Specific

What is expected of the host family?

  • Provide a supportive home environment
    Our international students are all traveling to the US to improve their English and to experience ‘real’ American culture. All you need to do is welcome them into your home life, alowing them to get to know your family and your community. Be supportive of their learning, open minded to their culture and engage them with your hobbies and interests – hosting is all about sharing!
  • Provide a comfortable room and board
    The most basic requirement for hosting is of course to provide bed and boarding for your student.
  • Provide transportation to and from school
    Host families should secure transportation to and from school for their student. If the student is unable to ride the bus due to your home’s location, please be prepared to arrange safe transportation.

What are the benefits of hosting?

Opening your home to a new family member is a rich and rewarding experience! You will make a new friend and learn about their culture. Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities and learn new ways of communication.

How old will my student be?

Xplore MyChoice students attend high school, so are aged between 14 and 18.

Do I need to buy the student’s food?

We ask that host families provide all meals, including packed lunches at school for the duration of the program. If student chooses to purchase school lunches, this would be the students responsibility.