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International Student Homestay Program
Bldg B, Room B105, ECC Campus
Tel: 847-214-7722

Homestay Program for F-1 Students - Apply

Homestay is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participating in the International Student Homestay Program is a great way to become immersed in American culture and make life-long friendships.

Application Process

  1. Complete and sign the Student Application and Homestay Agreement
  2. Submit a letter of introduction with a current passport-sized photograph.
  3. Provide a copy of your passport identity pages.
  4. Pay a one-time, non-refundable placement fee of $100.00 USD in the form of a cashier’s check or money order payable to Elgin Community College.
  5. Submit your application by email to, by fax to +1-847-214-7785 or by registered mail to:
    • Elgin Community College
      Office of International Student Services and Study Abroad
      1700 Spartan Drive
      Elgin, IL 60123-7193
      United States of America
  6. Review and sign the Homestay Contract with the host family no later than 48 hours after your first day in the assigned homestay.


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Expand all questions | Collapse all questions | Print FAQs

1. When is the deadline for applying?

Answer: Submit your homestay application and agreement and placement at least 60 days before your arrival in the U.S.

2. Will I have Internet access?

Answer: Every homestay is required to provide Internet access, although wireless connectivity is not guaranteed. 

3. When and how do I pay any fees?

Answer: The $100.00 USD application fee is due to ECC upon submission of the International Student Homestay Program Student Application and Homestay Agreement. Airport pickup, security deposit and first month’s homestay fee is due by 5:00 p.m. the day following your arrival. Monthly homestay fees are due the first day of each subsequent month. All fees must be paid by cash, money order, or check drawn on a US bank.

4. Is it okay for my family or friends to stay at my homestay with me when they visit?

Answer: Family, friends or agents that accompany you to the U.S. or come to visit you cannot stay with you overnight in your homestay. Please arrange for any family or friends to stay at a local hotel. The homestay coordinator can provide you with a list of local hotels. You should discuss with your host family rules for family or friends to visit you at the homestay. Your host family will outline their guest policy in the homestay contract.

5. What if I go on vacation?

Answer: Please discuss vacation plans with your host family at least two weeks prior to your departure. If you are away from the home for 14 nights or less, there is no discount for vacation. If you are away for 15 days or longer your monthly fee will be reduced. For vacations longer than 30 days, approval needs to be given by the homestay coordinator.

6. When do I receive my deposit back?

Answer: The security deposit will be returned to you between 30 and 60 days after your departure from the homestay. The deposit amount will be reduced if any money is owed to the family or if there is any property damage.

7. Will I have access to laundry facilities?

Answer: You will have access to laundry facilities. Please discuss with your host family the arrangements for using laundry facilities.

8. What if I have pet allergies?

Answer: Indicate on your application if you have any pet allergies. The homestay coordinator will make every effort to not place you in a homestay that has pets.

9. Will I be able to use the host’s phone?

Answer: You may be allowed to use your host’s phone to make local calls. You will need to purchase a phone card, call collect or purchase a cell phone to make long distance or international calls.

10. When will I be notified of my placement?

Answer: Approximately two weeks prior to your arrival, you will receive by email the details of your assigned homestay and host family.

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