International Student Homestay Program

The International Student Homestay Program of Elgin Community College (ECC) provides a unique opportunity for full-time international students on an F-1 visa to reside in an American home as a member of the family while providing local residents with the opportunity to host an international student and learn about a new culture. The goal of the program is to build bridges of cultural appreciation and promote global awareness and diversity.

Overview


Every semester, Elgin Community College welcomes a diverse population of international students and exchange visitors to its campus. The presence of these students on campus contributes to the cultural diversity and global understanding within District 509.

The International Student Homestay Program provides a unique opportunity for international students to reside in an American home as a member of the family. The program promotes values of international friendship and cultural exchange and provides students with a clean, safe, and welcoming atmosphere during their academic studies at ECC. A homestay provides international students with the opportunity to improve their English, meet new people, participate in events and outings, and have a positive academic and cultural experience while attending ECC.

It also provides the unique opportunity for local families to host an international student in their home through the ECC International Student Homestay Program. Welcoming an international student into your home will provide you with the reward of knowing you are helping an individual to understand and adapt to a new culture. The program is designed to provide ECC international students with the opportunity to experience life as a college student while enjoying daily and personal interaction with a local American family

What is a homestay?

A homestay offers students an opportunity to be fully immersed in American culture. The student lives with the host family for a predetermined amount of time, provided with meals and, if requested, transportation. The student pays the family a monthly homestay fee.

Why live with a host family?

Living with a host family allows an international student to improve his or her English through daily interactions and experience American culture by participating in day-to-day activities.

Who is best suited for participating in homestay?

International students on an F-1 visa who desire and appreciate a family environment and want to experience American culture first-hand are excellent candidates for living with a host family.

Who can host a student?

There is no such thing as a "typical" homestay family. The United States is a multicultural country with people from many different ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, and religious backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the host families who participate in the Elgin Community College International Student Homestay Program. As a public institution, ECC embraces and promotes this diversity and multiculturalism. The most important criteria for a host is a genuine interest in sharing American culture, while providing a safe and caring home away from home for a student.

How to Apply


International students are encouraged to apply at least 60 days prior to their program start date. Learn more about how to request a homestay placement and frequently asked questions.

Host family applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Our highest numbers of requests for homestays are during the fall (August) and spring (January) semesters. Learn more about how to apply to be a host and frequently asked questions.