Host Family FAQ

FAQs: How To Become a Host Family & More

Although we recommend calling one of our Host Processing Coordinators at 781-996-0429 with any questions, we have compiled the following list of frequently asked questions in order to help answer your questions as promptly as possible.

If you’re ready to join the gphomestay family today, click here to fill out our inquiry form.

  1. How do I know if there are students in my area?
  2. What are the basic requirements for becoming a gphomestay host family?
  3. Do I need to personally drive the student to and from school each day?
  4. How long do students stay? What sort of time commitment do I need to make?
  5. Are host families offered any compensation for hosting?
  6. How will I receive my stipend?
  7. Will I have to pay taxes on the stipend I receive?
  8. What does the host application process entail? Can you walk me through it from start to finish?
  9. After I have been successfully approved as a host family, am I guaranteed a student?
  10. Who determines which student I will be hosting?
  11. When does the “matching” process take place?
  12. Can I host the same student for multiple years?
  13. Does gphomestay support its host families? How?
  14. If any problems arise, is there a member of gphomestay I can contact?
  15. What age is the student I’ll be hosting?
  16. What country will my student be coming from?
  17. Can I request a male or female student?
  18. Do I need to have a child currently enrolled at the same school my student will be attending?
  19. I am a single parent. Can I be a host?
  20. Can I host more than one student?
  21. My family and I would like to host, but we have already booked a vacation during the time the student would be living with us. Can we still host the rest of the time?
  22. Do the students have health insurance?
  23. Are the students able to speak English?
  24. I want to host, but I’m not free this semester. Should I still submit an inquiry form?
  25. What if I can’t host a student but know someone who can? Is there any sort of referral bonus for sending qualified hosts to gphomestay?
  26. Can I still host a student if I have a pet?
  27. Am I allowed to invite my student on family trips?
  28. Do the students staying for the 10-month school year go home over the summer or winter breaks?
  29. Are the students allowed to drive?
  30. What types of visas do the students have?
  31. Is gphomestay recognized by any third party organizations as a reputable homestay provider?
  32. Can school faculty host a student?
  33. What is the minimum age requirement for hosting a student?

 

 

Q. How do I know if there are students in my area?

A. Because we are partnering with new schools around the country each week, your best option is to call one of our Host Processing Coordinators (781-996-0429) to learn which schools we are partnered with in your area.

Q. What are the basic requirements for becoming a gphomestay host family?

A. First and foremost, hosts should seek to welcome students into their home as another member of their family and supervise the student as one would his or her own child.

Additionally, all host families must be able to provide students:

– A private bedroom

– 3 meals per day

– Daily transportation to and from school

Q. Do I need to personally drive the student to and from school each day?

A. No. Although we prefer that hosts personally transport students, students may take a school bus or carpool with a trusted source.

Q. How long do students stay? What sort of time commitment do I need to make?

A. Because we regularly offer short-term hosting opportunities, there is no minimum time commitment required in order to join the gphomestay family.

Nevertheless, because we want to provide continuity for our students and to encourage students and hosts to build meaningful, lasting relationships, we do prefer that families commit to hosting for a full academic year (no more than 10 months). Go To Top

Q. Are host families offered any compensation for hosting?

A. Yes. Gphomestay provides all hosts with a monthly stipend to offset the additional costs associated with hosting a student. Stipend amounts range depending on location and the specific school the student is attending.

Q. How will I receive my stipend?

A. Stipend payments are distributed monthly via direct deposit.

Q. Will I have to pay taxes on the stipend I receive?

Yes. Stipend payments are considered non-employment income and we issue a 1099 tax form to all hosts.

Nevertheless, because hosts must be able to prove the stipend money was spent on the student in order to avoid paying taxes on it, we recommend hosts keep track of spending and speak with a tax specialist in order to deduct from the taxable income the portion that was spent on providing care to the student.

Q. What does the host application process entail? Can you walk me through it from start to finish?

A. Because we hold our hosts to a higher standard, our host approval process includes:

– An application
– A brief phone screen
– A short home inspection and
– A background check (at no cost to you)

Our application is intended to solicit your basic information including the number of members in your household; your rules and expectations within your home and your dietary restrictions and/or allergies.

Phone screens, which can be completed before or after an application has been submitted, provide our staff the opportunity to speak with you in person to learn more about why you are seeking to host a student as well as to answer any questions you may have regarding your application. If you would like to schedule a phone screen, or learn more about the application process, you can call our Host Processing Coordinators at 781-996-0429.

After you have completed both an application and a phone screen, one of our local staff members will visit your home for a brief tour and in-person interview.

Upon completing your successful site visit, gphomestay will run a criminal background check for all of the adults in your home (at no cost to you). Once this background check is complete, you will be officially offered membership into the gphomestay family! Go To Top

Q. After I have been successfully approved as a host family, am I guaranteed a student?

A. No, however the majority of our hosts are ultimately matched with a student, typically within the first year of the host being approved.

Additionally, once you have been approved as a host, your application will be stored in our database for as long as you would like, allowing us to offer you regular opportunities to host a student. Moreover, as gphomestay continues to grow and partner with more and more schools in your community, your opportunities to host a student will increase.

Q. Who determines which student I will be hosting?

A. Students are given the opportunity to choose which host family they would like to live with.

Q. When does the “matching” process take place?

A. Typically our matching process proceeds in a rolling fashion, beginning in April and ending in August. For this reason, the sooner you become host, the more opportunities you will have to be matched with a student!

Although the bulk of our matching takes place during these months, it’s important to note that we do typically offer a number of additional hosting opportunities throughout the year.

Q. Can I host the same student for multiple years?

Absolutely! Students and hosts often build a familial bond and seek to live together for the duration of the student’s high school career. Go To Top

Q. Does gphomestay support its host families? How? 

A. At gphomestay, we’re proud to offer you the support and resources host families need to thrive – and more.

Once you join the gphomestay family and are successfully paired with a student, our bilingual and bicultural student support staff facilitates communication between your family and your student’s natural parents in order to introduce you to one another. This bilingual staff is available for translation services throughout your student’s stay in case an emergency arises. Next, you will receive customized training materials to prepare you for your student’s arrival.

Once your new family member arrives and settles into your home, you will receive an in-person check-in from your local gphomestay staff member. This staff member will serve as your point-person for all of your basic questions or needs and will provide ongoing support to you and your family throughout each student’s stay. Additionally, this staff member will provide regular check-ins, both via phone and in-person and in some cases even organize exciting events and activities for local host families and their students.

Additionally, gphomestay provides host families a monthly stipend (available via direct deposit) to offset the additional costs associated with hosting a student.

Q. If any problems arise, is there a member of gphomestay I can contact?

A. Yes. Each community we work with has a local Residential Coordinator who serves as the primary liaison between you, gphomestay and your international student’s school. Additionally, each community has its own Residential Manager stationed at gphomestay’s Boston, Massachusetts headquarters and our Los Angeles, California office.

Finally, should you need to contact a student’s parents or to navigate any cultural or linguistic miscommunications, gphomestay features a team of bilingual and bicultural associates who are eager to help.

Q. What age is the student I’ll be hosting?

A. We currently work primarily with students in high school and college (roughly ages 14-22).

Q. What country will my student be coming from?

A. We primarily work with students from China and South Korea, however we do receive homestay requests from students from many other parts of the world, including South America and Europe. Go To Top

Q. Can I request a male or female student?

A. Yes. During the application process you will have the opportunity to state a gender preference. Please note, however, that by stating a preference you will be greatly limiting the pool of potential students you might be able to host.

Q. Do I need to have a child currently enrolled at the same school my student will be attending?

A. No. While we do find that many of our best host families do have children at our partner schools, that is certainly not a requirement to participate in our program.

Q. I am a single parent. Can I be a host?

A. Of course! We have a wide range of approved hosts within our program and encourage all interested parties to apply.

Q. Can I host more than one student?

A. Yes. It is possible to host more than one student, but there are additional requirements for host families who choose to host multiple students. If you’re interested in hosting multiple students, we encourage you to call our Host Processing Coordinators at 781-996-0429. Go To Top

Q. My family and I would like to host, but we have already booked a vacation during the time the student would be living with us. Can we still host the rest of the time?

A. Absolutely! We encourage all parties to apply even if they will not be able to host for the entirety of the student’s stay. In these scenarios, we are typically able to find another host family to take care of the student during your vacation.

Q. Do the students have health insurance?

A. Yes. Every student will arrive with health insurance.

Q. Are the students able to speak English?

A. Yes. Although most students come to the United States in order to improve their English and earn an American degree, students are going to be arriving at the very least with conversational-level English skills. Nevertheless, it’s important for hosts to serve as patient mentors for students, particularly upon the student’s immediate arrival, since students may be nervous speaking a second language in a new country.

Q. I want to host, but I’m not free this semester. Should I still submit an inquiry form?

A. Yes, you should! Once we have approved your application, we will store  it in our database for as long as you would like. This allows us to offer you both short and long-term hosting opportunities as they come in throughout the year. Go To Top

Q. What if I can’t host a student but know someone who can? Is there any sort of referral bonus for sending qualified hosts to gphomestay?

A. Yes, there is a referral bonus! Any time you refer an applicant who becomes an approved host you will earn a $300 referral bonus.

Q. Can I still host a student if I have a pet?

A. Of course! In fact, some of our students prefer living with families who have pets. We simply will not present your host profile to students who have allergies or a fear of animals.

Q. Am I allowed to invite my student on family trips?

Yes, you are both allowed and encouraged to bring your students on family trips. Moreover, although students are not required to attend, we encourage students to participate in family events, including trips and outings.

Q. Do the students staying for the 10-month school year go home over the summer or winter breaks?

A. Most students do go home for winter break, although some will stay with family members living in the United States. Almost all students go home for summer breaks.

Q. Are the students allowed to drive?

A. No, we do not allow any of our students to drive while they are enrolled in a gphomestay program, regardless of their age. Go To Top

Q. What types of visas do the students have?

A. The vast majority of our students will be coming over with an F1 student visa. Click here to learn more about the F1 visa.

Q. Is gphomestay recognized by any third party organizations as a reputable homestay provider?

A. Yes. We are proud to be approved by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel, the preeminent organization for vetting international educational travel providers. This recognition reflects gphomestay’s commitment to providing a safe and accommodating homestay program for students and host families.

Q. Can school faculty host a student?

A. Yes, gphomestay allows and encourages faculty members at our partner schools to host! It’s a wonderful experience and our students see great value in living with a teacher at the same school they are attending. However, some schools or dioceses do not allow school faculty to host. If no such restrictions exist, the faculty member would fill out the same host family application and contract as anyone else would.

Q. What is the minimum age requirement for hosting a student?

A. Hosts must be at least 25 years old. Go To Top

host family handbook ebook

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host family handbook ebook

GP Host Family Handbook

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