Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ about Homestay Abroad and Hosting a Student.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does hosting a foreign exchange student mean?
It means you and your family (or a family abroad) would welcome a young teenager from another country in their home. They would be part of the family and speak the country language while also learning the way of life and culture. Many programs are usually for a semester or school year. At Oui-Connect we specialize in short stays during the summer and some groups in the fall and spring.
I don’t have any children at home. Can I still be a host family?
Of course! Our host families come in all shapes and sizes: single-parent households, empty-nesters, families with small children or with teenagers. However, it is preferable to have someone around the house to encourage communication in English. In this case, hosting two students is recommended but not necessary.
Will my student speak English?
All students will have studied English at school for several years. However, their level of English will vary. Part of the fun of hosting is learning new ways to communicate.
Can I contact my student(s) before they arrive?
YES! Once you are officially matched with your student(s), you will receive their preferred contact information, email, Skype name, etc. We encourage ALL families to reach out to their student(s) prior to arrival. Describe your home, your family, even your pets! It’s a great way to heighten your cultural experience and ease the transition for you and the students coming to the US.
Are the students insured?
YES! All participants in Oui-Connect Homestay Programs are required to carry medical and liability insurance through Oui-Connect and travel with an insurance ID card.
What are the benefits of being a host family?
Many families report that, through hosting, they grow closer as a family as they participate in fun activities together and communicate better. Most host families and students stay in touch well after their stay and even visit each other later on. American teenagers that are host brothers or sisters, will receive 45 community service hours for promoting international understanding through cultural and linguistic exchange.
Which kind of support is available to the host family?
Our organization is very small and personal. Our team will assist you along the way, from choosing a student to preparing for their arrival, and organizing activities. You will receive detailed information with a toll-free emergency telephone number and we will have someone available 24/7 for any emergencies, concerns, or questions that may arise.
Go Abroad or Direct Exchange program: What happens if my teenager has an issue while they are abroad?
Oui-Connect partners with agencies in France, Spain and Italy that have coordinators available 24/7 for any emergency. They all speak English fluently and you will be provided with their phone number and an emegrncy number. If needed, we can change host families or help with any emergency quickly.
GO ABROAD PROGRAM: WILL THERE BE A STUDENT SAME OR SIMILAR AGE IN THE HOST FAMILY?
We do not guarantee a student the same age in the host family. We accept host families based on their motivation to host. We interview the host family in their home and always ask if there will be teenagers the exchange student can meet if they don’t have kids the same age in the household. Some of our best host families have been empty nesters who are very active! More than 50% of our host families have kids the same age in the home.
GO ABROAD PROGRAM: DO PARENTS HAVE TO HOST FOR STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
If you participate in our “Go Abroad” program, it’s only an outbound program meaning your son /daughter goes to Spain, France , Italy. You do not host an exchange student.
If you participate in our “direct exchange program” You host a foreign exchange student first and then your son/daughter goes abroad and lives with them for 3 weeks.
GO ABROAD PROGRAM: WHO PICKS UP MY SON/DAUGHTER FROM THE AIRPORT
A local coordinator (partner with Oui-Connect) or the host family. We will let you know before departure exactly who it is and what’s their phone number.
Would a participant be covered by insurance for the Covid 19?
Absolutely. The insurance taken out on your behalf as a Oui-Connect participant would cover you for Covid-19 and its consequences. This coverage would be valid for the duration of his stay. On-site, in Europe, you would therefore be covered for Covid-19 (medical, repatriation, etc.) exactly as for any other illness.
The contract will be available on request. Before departure, you will receive your card and insurance policy.
Are host families paid?
All of our host families are volunteers, but we do offer a stipend (per student hosted) to offset some of the cost while hosting.
Can I pick my student?
Yes! Host families are fully involved in selecting their student(s) by reviewing student profiles. We want you to find students that best match your family’s hobbies and lifestyle.
Can students share a bedroom?
YES! Students can share a bedroom with other students or host family siblings of the same gender.
How many students can I host at a time?
You can host up to three students as long as they are all from different nationalities.
Who will cover the student’s expenses while on the program?
All of our students are required to have enough money to cover their personal expenses. You are not expected to pay for their stay. The student is part of your family during their visit but should be expected to pay for extra activities and restaurants unless you discuss it with them beforehand.
Can I take my exchange student on our family trip?
Yes. Many of our host families go on trips while their exchange student is with them and take them with the family.
We do not allow trips that are out of the country like Mexico, Canada, or others…
What will the students be doing during their stay? Do I need to plan activities for them?
The international students chose this program for the experience of learning while living the life of an American family. They decided to learn the informal way: not in a classroom and learning to adapt to a different environment. Host families should continue with their regular life and include their student in it. It is a good time to share our beautiful surroundings with the student(s). It can be as easy as a trip to the beach or a visit to the mall. The Oui-Connect team
will host a farewell Party and 3 excursions.
Go Abroad and Direct Exchange Programs: How do you insure my teenager will be safe while abroad?
This is the first questions any parents ask before sending their teenager abroad with Oui-Connect or any other agency and we take it very seriously!
Oui-Connect partners with agencies in France, Italy and Spain who would be finding a volunteer host family in those countries.
All host families will be visited by a coordinator and interviewed. The coordinators will verify if the family is safe and if the house is safe/clean.
All host family fill out an application form and we ask for references.
You will also get to communicate with the host family before departure through Zoom , Facetime or other platforms.
GO ABROAD PROGRAM: DOES A STUDENT NEED TO KNOW FRENCH, SPANISH OR ITALIAN ALREADY?
No, knowing the basics of a language is enough. Everyone has a different level, and the goal of our programs is to improve your language skills. The most important is to be willing to learn and being willing to try.
GO ABROAD PROGRAM: HOW DO WE KNOW THAT OUR HOST FAMILY IS A "GOOD HOST FAMILY" WHAT DO YOU DO?
All our host families are volunteers meaning they do this with their heart and want to help a teenager from a foreign country realize their dream. We also interview each host family in their home.
Lastly you will have the chance to communicate with your host family before departure. we actually encourage students do do Facetime or Zoom once they get their placement.