Q. Can a family host a student they already know?
A. Yes, as long as they are not related in any way. This is called a Direct Placement. If a family contacts you with interest in pursuing a Direct Placement, please send your Regional Field Specialist the name of the host family, school and student, how the family knows the student, and whether or not your team can support the placement.
Q. Must students have their own bedroom?
A. No. Students can share a room with one host sibling of the same sex, but the student must have his/her own bed.
Q. What type of bed does the family have to provide for the student?
A. Department of State regulations prohibit any bed that is convertible or inflatable in nature. Futons, air mattresses, Murphy beds or any other type of bed that can be converted or inflated are not permitted. Students also should not be placed on a mattress on the floor.
Q. Can single adults with no children living at home host exchange student?
A. Yes, but we require written approval from the student and his/her natural family first. Single female adults can host male or female students, and single male adults can only host male students.
Q. How many students can a family host at one time?
A. Families can host two students at the same time as long as the students and their families give written permission and the students are not from the same country and do not speak the same language. For special short-term events, families may be allowed to more than two students. Learn more from your Hosting Programs Specialist.
Q. What is the minimum age requirement to be a host family?
A. There is no official age requirement to host a student; AFS staff and volunteers screen all interested families to be sure they are fit to host a student. When assessing whether younger host parents are suitable to host, it is especially important to understand the potential host parents’ motivation for hosting, expectations for hosting, philosophies on supervision, ability to handle the expenses of an additional family member, and any existing support networks in the community. In addition, all host families are required to provide at least two references who speak to their ability to host, including at least one reference that has observed them interacting with children of any age to show their suitability for hosting.
Q. Can host parents from separated households host?
A. Yes, but both parents will need to fill out full host family applications.
Q. Can a family that has an AirBNB (or similar circumstances) host with AFS?
A. A family that has an AirBNB (or similar circumstances) may only host if the rental unit has a separate, and locked, entrance from the rest of the home and the renters do not share common spaces with the host family. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances such as the frequency of rental and whether the family and/or student temporarily relocate/s to another suitable dwelling during the rental period. If you have a question about whether a family that has an AirBNB would be eligible to apply, please contact your Regional Field Specialist.
Q. Does AFS allow for the participant/parents to pay for school tuition?
A. There are times when the participant and parents/legal guardians request to pay tuition in order to attend a certain school or when arrangements are made for the parents/legal guardians to pay additional school fees. Such arrangements for payment of tuition or other school fees by the parents/legal guardians and participant must be made in advance of the DS2019 issuance.
Q. Who pays for school fees for students?
A. In most cases the host family or local AFS team cover costs for students. However, you can read Handling School Fees to learn more about which expenses could be covered by AFS or the student/student's family back home.
Q. Can a person in the U.S. sponsor an AFS host participant?
A. AFS strives to provide a safe and secure experience for all participants that come to the United States on our programs. To this end, it is important that all participants are able to feel comfortable and at ease in their host homes, schools, and communities. In the rare event that something should occur, participants need to be able to talk to their host families and volunteers freely and without any repercussion, perceived or otherwise.
Therefore, AFS does not allow any person living in the U.S. during the participant’s exchange to individually sponsor the participant’s program or pay any part of his or her school tuition. In other words, no host family or individual person may pay for any or all of the required fees for a participant of their choosing for participation in the AFS program or for tuition in a U.S. school.
Finally, all parties should be aware that nothing should ever be expected in return for a voluntary purchase for or donation to a participant.
There are times when the participant and parents/legal guardians request to pay tuition in order to attend a certain school or when arrangements are made for the parents/legal guardians to pay additional school fees. Such arrangements for payment of tuition or other school fees by the parents/legal guardians and participant must be made in advance of the DS2019 issuance.
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