Hosting an International Student: How Much Will It Cost?

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Host Families

Host families are unpaid volunteers with an interest in and passion for cultural exchange. But as a potential host family, you may be wondering: How much does it cost to host an international student? And what costs are my family responsible for?

While the cost hosting a student will depend on your location and lifestyle, all families are responsible for the same things:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Transportation (to and from school, around your community, etc.)

Host families are not responsible for other costs. In fact, all international students are expected to have access to $150 to $250 per month to cover fun with friends, souvenirs, and other personal expenses.

What about doctor visits or medical emergencies?

We’re glad you asked! All CIEE High School USA participants receive health insurance for the duration of their program. Host families are not responsible for medical costs related to their host student.

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What about family outings and meals out?

When hosting an international student, it’s important to have a clear discussion about what you expect the student to be responsible for regarding extra expenses such as family trips, evenings out, meals in restaurants, etc. Each host family needs to establish what will work best for them.

Some considerations that may help guide this conversation:

  • When your family dines out, will your host student pay for their own meal?
  • If your family takes a weekend vacation, will your host student travel with you? If so, who will pay for their hotel and food?
  • If your family goes to the movies or visits a theme or water park, will your host student pay for their own ticket?

The important thing is to make these decisions up front and be clear with your host student so they know what the expectations are. That will help you and your host student avoid any financial misunderstandings and will help you focus on what really matters: spending time to together, exploring your community, exchanging cultures, trading languages, and having fun.

Ready to bring the world to your home? Start your host family application today!