Arizona's Premier Homestay
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
1) What are the benefits of homestay?
For international students, a homestay is the most affordable and rewarding housing option. The benefits go beyond the safety and convenience of home living to include lasting friendships with Americans. The benefits for English language development and American cultural exposure are excellent. Serious students and scholars benefit from the comfort of home living in an atmosphere well suited for learning.
2) How can I sign up for a homestay?
Due to the popularity of the homestay program, it is important to apply as early as possible. The simple online Application must be accompanied by a $95 application fee. A $225.00 Placement Fee will be collected when the application has been approved and you are ready to be placed in a host home. When both the Application and Placement Fees have been submitted, you will receive an official Homestay Confirmation Email. After the homestay fee for the 28 days is paid, then you will receive an email containing host family information and complete arrival and orientation instructions.
Homestays are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. In cases where homestay space is not available, applicants will be notified and their Placement Fee and Application fee will be refunded in full.
3) What is the Homestay Confirmation Email?
This is very important. When we have received your completed Application, Fee payment and Placement Fee payment, we will send you a Homestay Confirmation Email containing: 1) your host family description, 2) airport pick-up information, 3) Orientation to Homestay details. You must read the email carefully, reply to let us know your arrival details, and print it for your records. It is a good idea to bring the printed email with you as you travel.
4) What does the Application Fee and Placement Fee cover?
The Application fee covers the cost of processing the application and verifying the student information. The Placement Fee covers the cost of carefully matching students with a host family, orienting students, recruiting and maintaining homestay hosts and homes, and all administrative overhead. Application and Placement Fees are non-refundable unless homestay is not available.
5) What does the Homestay Fee include?
The Homestay Fee includes a fully furnished private bedroom with linens; a shared bathroom; access to laundry facilities, microwave, and refrigerator; internet access; utilities including water and electricity. If you choose the meal plan, it also includes daily self-serve continental breakfast and daily dinners (four family-style dinners each week) to be enjoyed with the host family. The Homestay Fee is all-inclusive. There are no additional taxes, utilities, or fees.
6) What is Orientation to Homestay?
Arizona Homestay will provide you with an online orientation video before your arrival date. Students are required to sign our Student Agreement that will be sent to you electronically.Click hereto preview our Student Agreement.
When you arrive in your homestay, your host will introduce you to the family, give you a house key, explain the household rules, and share all personal contact information (i.e. street address; home, cell, and work phone numbers; email addresses, etc.). Your host will help you with transportation on your first day of class.
8) How are host families chosen?
Each homestay is different. Some host homes include a husband, a wife, and children; many are single professionals; and some are retired couples. Each host brings their own unique approach to welcoming students into their home lives.
All host families are chosen for their warm hospitality, gracious homes, and close proximity to the Universities and programs we serve. Each host family must submit an extensive application with criminal record checks and personal references, and be interviewed in their home before they can be accepted as hosts.
9) May I choose my own host family?
No. We take care to know each host very well, so we are best suited to make placement decisions. Based on the information you provide on your Application, you will be placed with the best possible host to suit your individual desires and needs. If there are issues that arise and cannot be resolved after 2 weeks, Arizona Homestay may move the student to a different host home at our discretion.
10) How is my move-in date determined?
Your move-in date should be no more than 4 days before the enrollment start date for your university session or course. Exceptions may apply during national holidays. Please be considerate in planning your flight arrival time for a reasonable hour.
11) How is my move-out date determined?
Your move-out date is within 4 days day after the enrollment end date for your university session, course, or rotation.
12) What will the food be like?
Homestay students eat their host’s normal food provided. It is difficult to define typical American food since the United States is made up of so many different cultures and ethinicities. However, you will enjoy a much wider variety of fresh, healthful foods than simply American “fast food.” Also, most Americans enjoy food from around the world and look forward to trying the food from your country.
13) If I have restrictions on what I can eat, can I have a homestay?
Almost always, yes. Simply state your needs on your Application and we will discuss it with your host when we assign you to that home. For special requests, see the Guidelines for Accommodating Dietary Restrictions.
14) How can I eat my non-homestay meals?
Your host will provide space to store your personal food for lunches and non-homestay dinners. You may also use a designated microwave to heat food when the host is not serving a family-style dinner. There are various food choices located on and around campus. In addition, Arizona cities are full of delightful, inexpensive restaurants of every variety designed for busy students. You may eat in one of the fabulous area restaurants or use a take-out service and enjoy your meal in the host family kitchen.
15) Who does the student’s laundry and cleaning?
Homestay students are responsible for their own laundry and cleaning. Most American families do not have domestic help. Therefore, it is normal for everyone in the home to help with some of the light housework as asked (e.g. washing dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning the shared bathroom, or sweeping after dinner). Homestay students are responsible for keeping themselves, their rooms, and their laundry clean.
16) What about telephone use?
Most students communicate via email, Skype, and cell phone. For local calls, you may use the house phone if available. If you need to make a long distance call, you must arrange a convenient time with your host and use a calling card. It is recommended that you get a local cell phone number while you are in the states so that you can communicate with your host.
17) May I use my host’s computers or printers?
Hosts’ computer and printer equipment is personal property and cannot be used by homestay students unless the host approves.
Your room will have internet access and most students bring a computer of their own. If you do not have your own computer or printer, you should ask your university or academic program about gaining access to a computer lab on campus.
18) What about transportation?
Your homestay will be convenient to a bus, light rail, or trolley for use during the day. After dark, you should travel with a friend, use a taxi, or other service such as Uber. Students should take advantage of free bus loops, door-to-door shuttles, and walking.
Your host will carefully teach you the best transportation route from your homestay to your classes by showing you how to get there on the first day. Your host is not responsible for providing transportation for you.
19) Will there be other international students in my homestay?
Frequently, there is more than one international student living in a homestay. This can be a wonderful way to make a good friend. Remember: all homestays are English-only zones. Out of respect for everyone learning English, if two students speak the same native language, they will not be permitted to use that language in the homestay.
20) May I have contact with my host family before move-in day?
For security reasons, it is the policy of Arizona Homestay not to share personal identifying information about our hosts until after your placement fee and first months pay has been received. Once we have received these payments, we will give you contact information. We encourage you to get in touch with your host before hand to let them know any needs you have before arriving as well as confirming your arrival.
21) May I send my luggage ahead of me?
No. We can not accept luggage ahead of the student’s arrival for security and safety reasons.
22) May I move into my homestay early?
No. Your homestay room will not become available until your move-in date. If you wish to come to Arizona earlier than your move-in date, you can arrange a convenient hotel in the area. Here are a couple of local accommodations near ASU AECP and Sky Harbor International Airport:
23) May I have personal airport pick-up?
Yes. Personal airport pick-up is available through Arizona Homestay. We are happy to set up transportation for a $100 fee. Your host may offer to pick you up if it is convenient for them. Please ask your host in advance if they are able to pick you up from the airport.
24) How will I get to my homestay on move-in day?
We recommend that you book airport transportation through Arizona Homestay. In the event that your host family offers to pick you up from the airport, it is your responsibility to make sure they have your correct flight information. It usually takes about an hour and a half to get through customs and immigrations.
25) How can I pay for my homestay?
Payment for your first four week session is due no later than 2 weeks before arrival so that we can secure your host. You may pay in the form of a electronic funds transfer through your bank or through a credit or debit card, bank wire or PAYPAL. There are no refunds once you have been assigned a host home. If you wish to stay in your Homestay longer, tell your host after two weeks so your room can be saved for you. After your first four week session, you will pay your host directly at the beginning of each 28 night cycle.
26) How long is the homestay commitment?
There is no minimum commitment, but homestays lasting fewer than four weeks are subject to availability. The Homestay Fee for the first four week session is due with your Placement Fee. There are no refunds once we have placed you with a host. Many students stay longer than one session and live in their homestay the entire time. If you wish to move out of homestay at the end of your first four week session, please tell your host and the Arizona Homestay Coordinator after two weeks so we can re-assign your room. You may not remain in homestay after the end of your academic program. Your move-out date is four days after your course end date.
27) What if I want to change my homestay?
Arizona Homestay is very selective in our hosts and has never had a relocate any students. If there are unresolved conflicts between a student and host, the Homestay Coordinator can be included to help reach a peaceable agreement. If the student or host has not followed the Homestay Agreement which both parties signed before on move-in, the other party may be permitted to dissolve it at the other's expense. If the student is wanting to move to another location after being placed, and is not willing to attempt to resolve any issues, there will be another placement fee charged.
28) What if I want to remain in my homestay longer than my first full session or course?
If you follow the Homestay Agreement, your homestay is guaranteed for four weeks (28 nights). If you are still enrolled in your university and would like to stay in your homestay after four weeks, you may request an extension from your host. With the approval of the Homestay Coordinator, you may reserve your homestay by paying for the next four weeks. You may request extensions to remain in your homestay as long as you are enrolled in your university or program.
29) I'm planning to be away during my stay. What happens then?
Just as with any university housing or rental, room reservations are from move-in day to move-out day consecutively. If you choose not to eat meals or not to sleep in your room, you will need to continue paying according to schedule. Students who move out of homestay in good standing may return to the homestay program by applying through the website and paying the placement fee again. See our Non-Use Policy for more details.
30) How will I get to the airport on move-out day?
At least three days before your flight, you will need to arrange for airport transportation if your host has not offered to take you. All transportation originates at your host family's address. Ask your host for help in scheduling a taxi or shuttle pickup.
31) What are my responsibilities on move-out day?
On move-out day, you will need to 1) complete an Homestay Exit Form online, 2) clean your bedroom and wash your linens, and 3) turn in your house key. Of course, you will want to save time to take one last photo of the hosts who have become your dear friends!