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 ultimate goal of the program is to build bridges of cultural appreciation.


What is a homestay?

A homestay is cultural immersion for international students to experience American culture. The student lives with the family for a predetermined amount of time, provided with meals and, if requested, transportation. The family is provided a modest stipend.

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 great candidates for staying with a host family. Local community members who meet host family requirements and have a genuine desire to open their home to an international student are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

F-1 International Students

International students on an F-1 visa who have been accepted to ECC for study in a degree program or the Intensive English Program may apply to the ECC International Student Homestay Program. 

Host Families

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