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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Submit a letter of introduction with a current passport-sized photograph. A digital picture is acceptable.
- Submit your application by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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.
Submit your homestay application and agreement and placement at least 60 days before your arrival in the U.S.
Every homestay is required to provide Internet access, although wireless connectivity is not guaranteed.
Fees paid to the college:
- The $100.00 USD application fee is due once you have been issued a homestay placement and prior to your arrival in your homestay.
- The security deposit, equal to your monthly homestay fee, is due by 5:00 p.m. the business day following your arrival in the homestay. Security deposits can be paid online through AccessECC or at the Office of Student Accounts (in-person at Building B, Room B151 or by calling 1-847-214-7380.
Fees paid to the host:
- Airport pick-up due by 5:00 p.m. the day following your arrival in the homestay.
- Your first month’s homestay fee is due by 5:00 p.m. the day following your arrival in the homestay.
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 U.S. bank.
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.
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.
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.
You will have access to laundry facilities. Please discuss with your host family the arrangements for using laundry facilities.
Indicate on your application if you have any pet allergies. The Homestay Coordinator will make every effort to place you in a homestay without pets.
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.
Approximately four to six weeks prior to your arrival, you will receive by email the details of your assigned homestay and host family. It is important that you respond promptly to this email to accept your assigned homestay placement. Questions? Contact the Homestay Coordinator by email or phone at 847-214-7722.