Host dad with exchange student

About our host families

Your host family important part of your exchange program abroad. They share their most important assets – their family and home. Host families open their home to provide insight to everyday life in your new culture.

Many of our returnee exchange students are still in close contact with their host families – exchange programs can create lifelong friendships and bonds. Your host family may become the family you never knew you had, and an extra family which you can visit many times in the future, and also invite to your home.

We work hard to find the right host families for our students. All host families complete a screening process to ensure that they are engaged, friendly, and safe. It is important to focus on finding the right host family, rather than focusing on just the geographic location. Students should be open minded and flexible as the exchange experience can be a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

Host families in all shapes and sizes

Each host family is different and it is impossible to box them into a category. They may be your typical nuclear family, a retired couple, a single parent family or even a blended family. These families are volunteers and therefore want to host an exchange student for the cultural experience. Each family is fully screened including relevant criminal history checks (except Japan) or working with children checks, and all members of the family over the age of 18 are interviewed in their home where a home inspection is conducted.

They come in all shapes and sizes, but something all families have in common is that they have a genuine interest of welcoming you into their home and sharing their life and culture with you. They are interested in young people and are as curious about finding out more about your country as you are about theirs.

Enquire now

How our host families are selected

The families apply to become a host family, and complete a similar selection process as you (as a student). Our staff in the host country visit the host family home, and interview the family. This is to understand who they are, their motivation as a host family, and what expectations they have in hosting a student.

Our host families are carefully screened by experienced representatives of our affiliate organisations. This process includes host family applications, an interview in their home, reference checks and required government checks for working with children and/or relevant criminal history checks.

Child Safety is our main priority and along with our overseas affiliates, we have policies in place to ensure that this remains so throughout the duration of the exchange program. It is important that you feel confident with our programs and procedures, which is why SCCE attained our International ISO9001 Certification, a quality management system which can give you the peace of mind that we place the safety and wellbeing of our exchange students as our highest priority. We work closely with affiliate partners in each country, ensuring that all students have local support and guidance.

Enquire now

The host family chooses you

Most families host on a voluntary basis. Our staff will do their best to match our exchange students and host families based on their profiles and applications, but in the end – the decision about who to host is up to the family. The reason for this is that we also want the host family to feel comfortable with the student coming to stay in their home. It is vital that you are honest and give an accurate description of yourself and your expectations for the exchange program.

Some host families already have a clear vision of the type of student they want to host. If they live on a farm, they would likely prefer a student who is comfortable with animals, and keen to get involved. Some might have teenagers who play a particular sport, and want the exchange student to share that interest with them.

Others may simply be interested in a certain culture and want to host an exchange student from that country.

Be curious and open-minded

We are sure that we will find you a host family to compliment your profile, but it is also important to be open-minded. For example, if your host family loves to spend time outside hiking, or playing a particular sport and it’s not something you usually do, we encourage sutdents to try new activities – you never know, you might love it!

An exchange program is all about trying new things and immersing in a new culture. If the host family is too similar to you or your family at home, you might be missing out. Have an open mindset and a positive & proactive attitude, and we are sure you will have a successful exchange abroad.

Enquire now

Reimbursment

An important question we are often asked is if the host families are paid. The answer is that in the majority of the cases, they are not. We want our host families to host you for the right reasons, and not be financially motivated.

Classic High School

Classic High School is our most popular program.

Host families are not paid on the Classic program, with exception for the families in Great Britain & Ireland. The reason that families are paid in these countries is a mix of tradition, the economic situation and the rising cost of living in these countries. These costs are reflected in your program fees.

Select High School

The host families for our Select High School are paid to host, and the reason is simple.

When enrolling on a Select program, you are have the benefit of making a choice of your preferred school. On the Classic High School program, you may be placed anywhere in country, however for Select, we only have a short distance from your chosen high school to find a suitable host family for you.

To be able to ensure that we can find you a quality host family near this school, host families receive reimbursement. Many areas are very popular amongst exchange students and receive several students from all over the world every year (ie Calabasas in Los Angeles County as well as the Boston area in the USA).

Please note, however, that the host families for these programs will be screened the same way as the application process for our Classic programs.

Enquire now

Host families in all shapes and sizes

Each host family is different and it is impossible to box them into a category. They may be your typical nuclear family, a retired couple, a single parent family or even a blended family. These families are volunteers and therefore want to host an exchange student for the cultural experience. Each family is fully screened including relevant criminal history checks (except Japan) or working with children checks, and all members of the family over the age of 18 are interviewed in their home where a home inspection is conducted.

They come in all shapes and sizes, but something all families have in common is that they have a genuine interest of welcoming you into their home and sharing their life and culture with you. They are interested in young people and are as curious about finding out more about your country as you are about theirs.

Enquire now
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How our host families are selected

The families apply to become a host family, and complete a similar selection process as you (as a student). Our staff in the host country visit the host family home, and interview the family. This is to understand who they are, their motivation as a host family, and what expectations they have in hosting a student.

Our host families are carefully screened by experienced representatives of our affiliate organisations. This process includes host family applications, an interview in their home, reference checks and required government checks for working with children and/or relevant criminal history checks.

Child Safety is our main priority and along with our overseas affiliates, we have policies in place to ensure that this remains so throughout the duration of the exchange program. It is important that you feel confident with our programs and procedures, which is why SCCE attained our International ISO9001 Certification, a quality management system which can give you the peace of mind that we place the safety and wellbeing of our exchange students as our highest priority. We work closely with affiliate partners in each country, ensuring that all students have local support and guidance.

Enquire now
banner-img

The host family chooses you

Most families host on a voluntary basis. Our staff will do their best to match our exchange students and host families based on their profiles and applications, but in the end – the decision about who to host is up to the family. The reason for this is that we also want the host family to feel comfortable with the student coming to stay in their home. It is vital that you are honest and give an accurate description of yourself and your expectations for the exchange program.

Some host families already have a clear vision of the type of student they want to host. If they live on a farm, they would likely prefer a student who is comfortable with animals, and keen to get involved. Some might have teenagers who play a particular sport, and want the exchange student to share that interest with them.

Others may simply be interested in a certain culture and want to host an exchange student from that country.

Be curious and open-minded

We are sure that we will find you a host family to compliment your profile, but it is also important to be open-minded. For example, if your host family loves to spend time outside hiking, or playing a particular sport and it’s not something you usually do, we encourage sutdents to try new activities – you never know, you might love it!

An exchange program is all about trying new things and immersing in a new culture. If the host family is too similar to you or your family at home, you might be missing out. Have an open mindset and a positive & proactive attitude, and we are sure you will have a successful exchange abroad.

Enquire now
banner-img

Reimbursment

An important question we are often asked is if the host families are paid. The answer is that in the majority of the cases, they are not. We want our host families to host you for the right reasons, and not be financially motivated.

Classic High School

Classic High School is our most popular program.

Host families are not paid on the Classic program, with exception for the families in Great Britain & Ireland. The reason that families are paid in these countries is a mix of tradition, the economic situation and the rising cost of living in these countries. These costs are reflected in your program fees.

Select High School

The host families for our Select High School are paid to host, and the reason is simple.

When enrolling on a Select program, you are have the benefit of making a choice of your preferred school. On the Classic High School program, you may be placed anywhere in country, however for Select, we only have a short distance from your chosen high school to find a suitable host family for you.

To be able to ensure that we can find you a quality host family near this school, host families receive reimbursement. Many areas are very popular amongst exchange students and receive several students from all over the world every year (ie Calabasas in Los Angeles County as well as the Boston area in the USA).

Please note, however, that the host families for these programs will be screened the same way as the application process for our Classic programs.

Enquire now
banner-img

FAQ – our host families

Will I be the only exchange student in the home?

Most likely yes, but some families welcome two students to their home which means that you may have a host sibling from another country.   

A host family is, however, not allowed to host more than two exchange students at the same time, and the students cannot be of the same nationality.  

If you have an “exchange sibling”, this is an added bonus.  The exchange students usually become close, and it is always nice to have someone in the same age and situation to talk to and experience things with.  

Can I arrange my own host family?

Yes, you can. These are called Direct Placements.

Your nominated family will go through the same screening process as the rest of our host families to ensure their safety and suitability.  

Some certain criteria must also be fulfilled; your host family is not allowed to be a English speaker and you cannot be related to them.* 

You must also be placed somewhere where you can attend school and where we have a local coordinator available for your support.  

*With exception for the Select High School program. 

Will they cover my costs?

Your host family will pay for the food * at home as well provide your accommodation. You will need to pay for your own toiletries and clothing.   

The family may invite you to restaurants and cafés, but always expect that you will pay for yourself when eating outdoors, and consider everything else a bonus.  

* Normally with an exception for special foods.  

What am I expected to do at home?

This varies from family to family, but always ensure you clean up after yourself and offer to help. It is important that you and your host family discuss any required chores as soon as you arrive, to avoid misunderstandings.  Your host family will appreciate your assistance, and it can also help you establish a routine, and feel more at home within the family environment.   

Exchange students should clean their bedroom, do their own washing and help out as much as other family members in the common areas of the house. Your host family will be responsible for the cooking and grocery shopping.  They would love to try a dish from your home country, so offer to prepare a meal from time to time (if you can cook!). 

What happens if they travel while I’m there?

Often our students are able to join trips & activities with their host families. This is discussed on program with the host family, your family at home, and our organisation.  

If you are not able to join them, you will stay with one of our Welcome Families until they return. You are not allowed to stay overnight by yourself in the host family home. Please read about the welcome families in the question below. 

What is a Welcome Family?

A Welcome Family is a family who commits to hosting students for shorter periods of time, for example, when your original host family has other prior committments. 

Can I change host family?

You cannot change your host family before your arrival. If any issues arise while there, it is important that you communicate with your host family and tell them how you feel. Communication is key to the success of your exchange program. Your local coordinator will also be there to support you, please make sure you contact them if you need support.   

We will always do our best to solve any issues between you and your family, but if it becomes too much and has a negative impact on your exchange, we will, help you change your host family to another one.  

Always be honest and communicate with us so we can help you have a successful exchange program.  As we have mentioned before, we are highly aware of the importance of the host family and will  do our best for you to enjoy your time in your new country.   

Have the families hosted exchange students before?

Many of our families have hosted exchange students before. Others are as new to this experience as you are. There are positive things about both scenarios.  

An advantage with an experienced host family is that they know exactly what it takes to be a good host family, as well as understand expectations the exchange students often have.  

An advantage with staying with a host family that has never hosted an exchange student before is that the experience may be more unique for both of you, since it is a new experience for both sides. Neither will have previous exchange students and exchange experiences to compare to, which can be positive.  

There are advantages with both sorts of families and there is always support available to help you, and your family settle into the exchange experience.   

Become a host family

Why not become a host family yourself?  

We are always looking for caring host families in Australia & New Zealand keen to host foreign exchange student short term as a Welcome Family or for the ful duration of three, five or ten months. 

When being a host family for five months or more, you will receive a hosting rebate off the Outbound program fee as a token of our appreciation for your involvement the all round exchange experience.  .  

Hosting an exchange student is a great way to help prepare for an Outbound exchange program too … learn what it feels like to be on exchange before you depart, and gain some cultural insight.   

Read more about becoming a host family.

Become a host family

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