Being a homestay family for a Kennedy Catholic international student is an amazing way to bring the richness of the world to your front door. Being a homestay family is an experience that allows you to both share your life and culture with an international student by including them in your family, events, and holidays and learn about theirs.
Although you are paid a fee for housing our students, most of our homestay families are not motivated only by the extra income. Many families provide international student housing year after year and form lasting relationships and bridges between cultures and we are always looking for good homes for our students.
- Have a curiosity and excitement for having an international student live as part of your family
- Provide a private or semi-private room with bed, linens, desk, chair, lamp, dresser, closet and internet access
- Serve three well-balanced meals per day
- Complete a background check and Safe Environment class (applies to adults in the home)
- Primary Host Parent must be at least 30 years old
The best way to get a better understanding of the commitment to being a homestay family is to review our Homestay Family Policies and Procedures and FAQs. If you have any questions after please feel free to outline them in your Homestay Inquiry Form.
- Are host parents responsible for driving their host student to school everyday?
- How long does a host student stay in our home?
- Are host families offered any compensation for hosting?
- Are current Kennedy Catholic families still eligible for a financial aid award if we are a Homestay host?
- What is the process of becoming a host family?
- In general, what are host students like?
- Do I need to have a child currently enrolled at the same school my student will be attending?
- Can single parents be hosts?
- Can I still host a student if I have a pet?
- Am I allowed to invite my student on family trips?
Because we want to provide continuity for our students and to encourage students and hosts to build meaningful, lasting relationships, we do prefer that families commit to hosting for a full academic year which is no more than 10 months.
Yes. Kennedy Catholic provides all hosts with a monthly stipend to offset the additional costs associated with hosting a student.
- How are stipends distributed?
- Will I have to pay taxes on my stipend?
- Does Kennedy Catholic offer guidance on how to claim homestay income and deduct eligible expenses on tax returns?
Yes, stipends are taxable according to the IRS and a 1099 will be issued to the primary host that the school contracted with. Nevertheless, because hosts must be able to prove the stipend money was spent on the student in order to avoid paying taxes on it, we recommend hosts keep track of spending and speak with a tax specialist in order to deduct from the taxable income portion that was spent on providing care to the student.
Financial Aid awards are determined by income and family size. The School and IRS regulations deem Homestay payments as income which is not included in determining eligibility for financial aid when awards are calculated. The Homestay income is therefore an additional income source that can be used to meet the unmet financial need for tuition.
- If a family incurs expenses associated with being a host why is the stipend considered purely income?
Eligibility for financial aid is based on gross income from all sources and the same principle is applied to Homestay. It would be archaic to base eligibility on net income after expenses due to the variation of personal choices and lifestyle. Homestay Hosts have the option of deducting eligible expenses associated with hosting a Homestay Student in your taxes to offset the taxable nature of the Homestay income.
Because we hold our hosts to a higher standard, our host approval process includes:
- An application
- A brief phone screen or interview
- A short home inspection
- A background check (at no cost to you)
- Acceptance into the program
- Homestay training
- Student matching
- After being accepted in the homestay program am I guaranteed a host student?
- How are students and host families matched?
- When does matching take place?
- Can I request a male or female student?
- Can I host the same student for multiple years?
- After my host student settles in, will we still receive continued support from Kennedy Catholic?
- Can I host more than one student?
No, however the majority of our hosts are ultimately matched with a student, typically within the first year of the host being approved.
Additionally, once you have been approved as a host, your application will be stored in our database for as long as you would like, allowing us to offer you regular opportunities to host a student.
The student and their family’s preferences take first priority, after that the following Homestay Policy for housing preference is followed:
- Family preferences of the Homestay student parents or legal guardian
- Current Kennedy Catholic families with students currently enrolled
- Kennedy Catholic families who may not currently have enrolled students but are active in the school and the community
- Previous experience as a host family. Names and references of the host student and year last hosted must be provided
- Current Kennedy Catholic staff and faculty
Once your new family member arrives and settles into your home, you will receive an in-person check-in from our staff member. This staff member will serve as your point-person for all of your basic questions or needs and will provide ongoing support to you and your family throughout each student’s stay.
- How old are they?
- What country will they come from?
- Are students able to speak English?
- Do students have health insurance?
- What type of visa do students hold?
- Are students allowed to drive while in the US?
Yes. Although most students come to the United States in order to improve their English and earn an American degree, students are going to be arriving at the very least with conversational-level English skills. Nevertheless, it’s important for hosts to serve as patient mentors for students, particularly upon the student’s immediate arrival, since students may be nervous speaking a second language in a new country.