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

Homestay Program for Host Families - Apply

ECC’s International Student Homestay Program seeks host families who are genuinely interested in sharing their lifestyle in a positive and mutually fulfilling way.

Application Process

  1. Complete and sign the Host Family Application, Host Family Picture Form and Homestay Agreement
  2. Submit a letter of introduction.
  3. Submit a copy of your homeowner's/renter’s insurance policy.
  4. Submit a copy of your automobile insurance policy and copies of valid driver’s licenses for all licensed drivers living in the host home (only required for hosts providing transportation as part of the homestay arrangement).
  5. Sign the Authorization for Background Investigation
  6. Submit your application by email to, by fax to 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
  7. Potential host families will be required to complete a background check immediately before a placement is anticipated to be made. Payment for the background check is made directly to the agency conducting the background check. Background checks are required for every potential host parent and any adult over the age of 18 living in the host’s home, including children away at college who return home for vacations, holidays, etc.
  8. Review and sign the Homestay Contract with the host family no later than 48 hours after the student’s first day in the assigned homestay.


Expand all questions | Collapse all questions | Print FAQs

1. What type of family can host an international student?

Answer: Families are made up of people from a variety of family structures.  ECC welcomes all types of families to apply as hosts.

2. What if I go on vacation or out of town for a weekend?

Answer: ECC recognizes that many families will go on short vacations or holidays. Please inform the student if you will be away from the home for longer than a night. We also encourage you to include the student in your travels, if possible. Students are responsible for their own travel costs. 

3. May I select my student?

Answer: You may not select your student. Placements are made based on various criteria, and ECC will try to make the best fit for the student and host.

4. Can I host a student if I have pets?

Answer: Yes. The homestay coordinator will match students who are comfortable living with pets. Please note that many international students are not accustomed to living with indoor pets.

5. How much of a stipend will I receive for hosting a student? How/when do I receive a stipend?

Answer: Hosts are provided a modest stipend to cover the expense of hosting a student. Hosts choosing to participate in the program primarily for monetary benefits should not apply as these intentions run contrary to the program’s goal of providing a nurturing environment for the student. This is an opportunity for hosts to learn from an international student and share their traditions and culture and contribute to global cultural awareness.

Stipend Chart
Homestay Option Monthly Fee
(due by 5 p.m. the day after initial move-in and the first day of the month thereafter)
Security Deposit (due by 5 p.m. the day after initial move-in) Prorated Fee (per day) Airport Pickup Fee (due by 5 p.m. the day after initial move-in)
Short-term (30 days)* without transportation $550 $550 $19.00

From Chicago O’Hare International Airport: $50.00

From Chicago Midway International Airport: $75.00

Short-term (30 days)* with transportation $750 $750 $25.00
Long-term (one semester/16 weeks) without transportation $600 $600 $20.00
Long-term (one semester/16 weeks) with transportation $800 $800 $27.00
*There is a one month/30 day minimum for hosting a student in a homestay. If you choose to host for the short-term (30 day) homestay option, the student will need to secure housing beyond the 30 day period (such as a local apartment or flat). Extensions of short-term homestays are not guaranteed. If your homestay student arrives for studies mid-semester (such as for the Intensive English Program) and chooses the long-term homestay option, you will host the student for the number of weeks remaining in the semester.


6. What if the student I am hosting does not follow the house rules?

Answer: Problems can and do arise between host families and students from time to time, and it is expected that the parties will communicate freely with each other in a reasonable attempt to work out such problems informally. If the student and host family cannot work out their problems informally, the parties agree to speak with the homestay coordinator.

7. I live in an apartment/condo. Can I still host a student?

Answer: Yes, as long as the home has a separate bedroom for the student.

8. I don’t own a car. Can I still host a student?

Answer: Yes. However, you will need to indicate on your host application that you cannot provide transportation. If you are not near public transportation, matching you with a student may be more difficult unless the student intends to provide his/her own transportation.

9. My student is not a good fit for my family. How do I tell the student he/she needs to find a new place to stay?

Answer: The student is counting on you to provide a safe and secure housing experience. In the instance where you feel the student is not a good fit for your home, please contact the homestay coordinator immediately.

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