How to Make Extra Income from Hosting an International Exchange Student.

Do you want to earn extra income by simply housing an exchange student from a foreign country?

Do you know what requirements are necessary to be a host family? Read on to learn more about the process of qualifying as a homestay family and the welcoming of a foreign exchange student into your home.


What is a Homestay and how does it work?

Homestay is when a family agrees to house a foreign exchange student who comes to study and learn about a different culture. When hosting a student, a family is required to provide housing (a furnished private bedroom), and in some cases, meals for the extent of a student’s stay. During the time spent together, the family should help the student assimilate into their new life and provide a supportive environment. The student is also to abide by certain rules and guidelines while living in the family’s home. Our hosting program provides extra income to host families for extending hospitality and the use of their home.

How is a Host Family Paid?

The amount of income that a host family will receive for hosting an international student is based off of the type of provisions asked by the student (such as meals). The student will pay for their own school costs and personal items, along with their own insurance. To find out more about how we address fees and expenses for housing a foreign exchange student, visit

How will Hosting an International Student Benefit Me?

Although the income that one receives from hosting an exchange student is the most obvious reward from housing a student, there are many other benefits that come along with this process. Most host families enjoy their own immersion into a different culture, such as being exposed to a new language and trying cultural foods that the students make from their homelands. Although this is seen as extremely fruitful, most families reap the reward of helping a young person achieve their goal or fulfill their dream. This opportunity in itself is priceless and is often seen as the highlight of the whole hosting experience. Families have often enjoyed it so much that they choose to keep in touch with their student even after their immersion experience has come to an end, and often, host more students.

How Long is a Student’s Stay?

When housing a student, a host family will need to be committed to the experience, flexible with time, and understanding with the student. The average students spends 4 to 10 weeks with the host family. There are, though, exceptions where that time frame could be either longer or shorter.

If you are considering hosting an international student and have any unanswered questions, please contact the exchange student organizationfor any additional information.

Essential Things Homestay Hosts Need for their International Students

Although housing a student is always enjoyable, there are certain things that will make your job as a host easier.

Here are 6 things that we recommend having in order to be prepared to accept a new student into your home.

A Private Bedroom with a Bed

Even though it may seem obvious, these living arrangements must be reinstated to hosts because there are laws regarding international students. Since the State Department plays a role in making sure that students have a proper living space, government workers will have to check your home to make sure that this is in place. Thankfully, this is not a problem unless the house is in ruins and the bed that the student is being provided with is an air mattress!

A Desk

Although this is not legally required, this addition to your student’s room will make their school life much easier. Without their own desk, the student may not know where it’s appropriate to do their schoolwork without interrupting the rest of the household.

A Laundry Basket

Although this may not seem like an urgent item to have for your student, a laundry basket makes a huge difference when hosting a student. Without this, the student might not know what to do with all of their dirty clothing, and often, be too shy to ask. Even if you would like your student to help with the chores, having this is helpful for both the student and the host family.

Meals That Remind Them of Home

When first receiving a student, many hosts will attempt to cook a traditional meal from the student’s homeland, but this is not advised. Chances are that the way we cook them here in America will differ greatly from the way the dishes are made back in their home country. Although the attempt is genuine, this act of kindness might make your student uncomfortable.

Instead of this, wait until they’re settled in and then ask them about their favorite dishes. It might even be a fun bonding activity to make them together. Once you understand their preferences, keep some of their favorite ingredients on hand so they always have a standby when they’re hungry.

 House Rules

A set of rules is not the first thing that you want to put in place once your student arrives. By doing this, the student could be intimidated by you and you could start off on the wrong foot.

Boundaries, though, are necessary to help the student understand how your household works. This set of rules should be put in place after the student has become comfortable with their new surrounding. Quite frankly, an actual list would be helpful so there is no confusion. It might also be helpful to go through these rules with the rest of your family so that everyone is on the same page.

Internet Access

Finally, remember that your student has a family back home who is constantly thinking of them. Although you may have rules on how late your children can stay up on the internet, it would be considerate of you to understand that the student needs time to communicate with their family and friends. With the often dramatic time change, the student may have to stay up late at night to be able to speak to their loved ones. This is a huge change for them, after all.