There are many different types of hosting opportunities available for interested families. While most families are asked to sign up for a year or a semester, they can also host for a few days or a few weeks as Event, Temporary or Welcome families. Most of these family types require the family to complete a full host family application, through there is a shorter version of the application available for certain Event families. Please see the bottom of the page for a summary of the time frame for each family type.
Year or Semester Family
Year and semester families commit to hosting a student for the entire duration of the student's program, or, in some cases, for one semester of a year program student's program duration. Of course, even if a family signs up for a full year or semester, if their situation changes (e.g. job loss, bad match with the student, etc.), local volunteers will move the student to a Replacement family if needed. Year and Semester families are also referred to as "Permanent Families."
A welcome family hosts a student upon the student's arrival for up to 12 weeks. There are really two types of welcome families. The first type simply wants to try out the experience before committing to a full year or semester. Most of these welcome families decide to keep the student longer. The other type of welcome family truly cannot host longer than a short-term duration, but they want to help ensure a student's timely arrival or acceptance into a school community. For these types of welcome families, the local volunteers and staff will be working continuously to identify a Year or Semester family for the student, and the Welcome Family can assist by introducing their student to as many people as possible and help engage the student in the school and community. Often times a new family will step up to host after meeting the student. To read more tips on securing a permanent family for a welcome student, click here.
A temporary host family is a fully vetted host family who commits to taking in a student on a short-term basis not to exceed 8 weeks. Temporary Families can often be former host families, liaisons, or experienced volunteers. Ideally, students would spend as little time in a temporary placement as possible, usually between a Year or Semester family and a Replacement family. Teams are encouraged to have as many fully screened Temporary families available as possible in case a student needs to move urgently. See Pre-Screen Families below.
Event Family and Short Programs (VS) Families
An Event Family is a placement of up to one week with a family other than the student's fully screened Year/Semester/Replacement family. Some teams host large group events or orientations over a long weekend and utilize Event Families, though an Event family could also be used while the student's host family is out of town or temporarily not in position to host due to a family event or other circumstance. Please consult your Hosting Programs Specialist (HPS) to learn more about when the short Event Family application can be used.
A very short (VS) family is a placement of up to 3 weeks with a family while on special or VS programs.
This status applies to host families who agree to host a student for the remainder of the program after the student had been in a semester or year placement. Tips for finding replacement families can be found here.
Pre-Screened Host Families volunteer to go through the full host family application process so that they will be eligible to host a student in the event of an urgent student move, support counseling, or any other hosting situation. Some teams refer to these as "Emergency" or "Support" families. You can learn more about the Pre-Screen process by clicking here.
|Family Type||Time Frame|
|Year or Semester Family||Full School Year or Semester|
|Welcome Family||Up to 12 weeks|
|Temporary Family||Up to 8 weeks (Typically only 1 or 2 weeks)|
|Event Family||7 nights or less|
|Replacement Family||Remainder of student's program|