Host a Student in the Capital area

What is required from an AFS Host Family?

As a host family, you will provide your student with:

1. The opportunity to participate in your family’s daily lives and events
2. The same care, support, and comfort you would another member of your family
3. A bed, not convertible or inflatable in nature; sharing a room with a sibling of the same gender close in age is fine
4. Three quality meals, including lunches and meals eaten as a family in restaurants

How do I start the family screening and student selection process?

To start the process, simply complete and submit the Host Family Interest Form.

Does AFS pay families to host participants?

No, host families are not paid but are rewarded with an experience of a lifetime.  Host families are entitled to a tax deduction each month that an AFS student stays in their home.  Your own children will also be eligible for an AFS Family Award which can be applied toward their AFS study abroad program tuition.

Must the student have his/her own room?

The student does not necessarily have to have his/her own room.  The student must have his/her own bed, though.  The student can share a room with a same-sex host sibling if necessary.

Does the student speak English?

Yes, all students have a demonstrated level of proficiency in English.  Our students come to the U.S. with a desire to immerse themselves in the language and to improve their level of proficiency.

Must I “entertain” the student?

Students come here to experience normal daily life in the United States both at home and in school.  Although we are happy to hear that some host families take students on special outings throughout the year, this is not required.  The student is encouraged to engage in extracurricular activities and explore their new communities just as your own children do.

Will the host family need to cover medical expenses?

No, the host family will not be financially responsible for medical expenses for the student.  The student will come with secondary medical insurance so that the student can be treated as soon as possible. There is also a 24-hour support phone number in case of any emergency.

Does AFS have rules for participants?

Yes.  AFS students are expected to obey all the AFS rules and policies that are applicable while on their program.  Should a student break a rule such as driving, hitchhiking, or partaking in illegal drugs, they will have their program terminated.  Hosted participate are expected to obey U.S. laws.  We also limit independent travel by students.  Host families are provided with a Host Family Handbook which contains information on these rules at or before your pre-arrival orientation for host families.

What if problems arise?

AFS Volunteers have a lot of experience in placing participants with families and provide extensive support throughout the year.  Each student and host family is assigned a Liaison to communicate with the host family and student individually at least once a month.  Liaisons are the first line of support to resolve the issue.

Why does AFS conduct criminal background checks?

The safety and welfare of our participants is our highest value. The criminal background check is an integral part of the screening process that AFS-USA staff, volunteers and host family members must undergo before being affiliated with our program. While the U.S. Department of State and CSIET require that AFS conducts criminal background checks for all members of the host family home aged 18 years and older, AFS takes the additional step of requiring background checks for host family members aged 14 years and older.

How do I start the family screening and student selection process?

To start the process, simply complete and submit the Host Family Interest Form.