Homestay Program for International Students

Interested in living with an American family while you study at ECC? Participating in the International Student Homestay Program (ISHP) is a great way to become immersed in American culture and make life-long friendships. Homestay is available on a first-come, first-served basis so early applications are strongly encouraged.

Application Process

  1. Read, complete, and sign the ISHP Application for International Students - PDF. You may begin your homestay application online, or you can complete the paper application.
  2. Read and sign the ISHP Program Information, Policies, and Agreement for International Students. You may sign the agreement online, or you can sign the paper agreement.
  3. Submit a letter of introduction with a current passport-sized photograph. A digital picture is acceptable.
  4. Submit your application by email to, by fax to +1-847-214-7785, or by postal mail to:
    • Elgin Community College
      Office of International Student Services and Study Abroad
      1700 Spartan Drive
      Elgin, IL 60123-7193
      United States of America
  5. Once a homestay placement has been made, pay a one-time, non-refundable placement fee of $100.00 USD prior to arriving in the homestay. Payments can be made online at, via international bank wire through Flywire at (if the student is outside the U.S.), or by calling the Office of Student Accounts at 1-847-214-7380.

The homestay application will only be processed once all materials are received by the Center for International Education and Programs, and you have been accepted to ECC as an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor (ECC must be the sponsoring institution for J-1 exchange visitors). For questions regarding eligibility, please contact the Homestay Coordinator. You should submit your homestay application, agreement, and required documents no later than 60 days prior to your arrival in the U.S. The International Student Homestay Program does not guarantee a homestay placement. However, most students are matched with a host family if they submit their application by the application deadline. Applications for homestay placement received after the application deadline will be filled based on availability.