Questions? We Have Answers!
Are we good candidates for hosting?
It cannot be said enough - there is no "typical" Ayusa host family. Ayusa students enjoy living on farms, in small towns, suburbs, and big cities. Whether you are a married couple with children at home, a single parent, an empty-nester, or a grandparent, the desire to love and care for a student is all that is needed to host. Every community offers a wonderful and unique opportunity for friendship and learning. Somewhere in the world there is a student waiting to live with a family just like yours!
What kind of support will our family and student receive from Ayusa?
A professionally trained Community Representative (CR) will be assigned to work with your family and student for the entire program. Your CR will maintain regular contact with you and your student monthly, offering advice and support whenever needed. The CR will also maintain regular contact with your local high school and complete a quarterly report, evaluating your student’s progress in family life, academic achievement, and social activity. You CR is supported by a team of dedicated regional and national Ayusa staff, available 24 hours in case of an emergency.
How will our student get around?
Ayusa realizes that families are very busy with work responsibilities and extra-curricular activities. Our students are not allowed to drive while on program, but will take school and public buses whenever available. They often purchase or borrow used bicycles and usually make friends who drive. Biking, walking, or carpooling are all acceptable ways for them to get around. Family members are not expected to be chauffeurs, but to simply offer the student a ride when it is convenient.
What if our student needs medical attention? Who is the legal guardian?
Your student is provided with health insurance that will cover any expenses should they require a visit to the doctor. Before a student is accepted into the Ayusa program, they must undergo a complete physical exam and submit a certified report documenting that they are in good health.
During your student's stay with your family, Ayusa is the acting parent. This means you can make decisions on their behalf such as signing school papers and taking the student to the doctor, if needed. Should a medical emergency arise, you will have all the necessary signed forms from the natural parents to ensure the student gets the medical attention needed while the local Ayusa Community Representative and other Ayusa staff are providing support and guidance along the way.
What happens if we go on vacation?
Vacations are a wonderful way for your student to see our amazing country and all it has to offer. Your student should be covering their vacation costs with the spending money provided by their natural parents. If for some reason it is not possible for your student to travel with you, you can discuss alternate plans with your Community Representative well in advance of your trip.
What are my responsibilities as a parent? What types of rules should I set?
The best thing you can do for your student is to treat them like your own child. If you would allow your child to do something, you can let your student. During your year together, we suggest that you set clear, reasonable expectations from the beginning and make sure that your student understands the house rules. By doing this, you will find that your student will more than likely respond to the structure and will have an easier time adjusting to their new life. You have the freedom to set the curfew, rules, and assign chores – anything you might do for your own child.
Will our student speak English well?
Your student will be able to converse with you immediately. Some teens will be almost fluent, while others will have a stronger accent and use smaller words depending on how many years they have been studying English. Some students may be overwhelmed or not as confident in their English skills at first. But you will be amazed at how your student's English fluency will improve, often quickly and dramatically, once they are immersed in school and social life.
How much does hosting cost?
Your financial responsibility is quite minimal and mainly consists of room and board for your student, which includes 3 meals a day. Your student's natural parents will pay for all travel costs, program fees and health insurance. They will also provide your student with a monthly spending allowance used for school expenses, social activities, clothing, and other essentials. A $50 per month tax deduction can be claimed for each month you host.
What if we don't get along?
We have high standards for our students and host families to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe year. While placed with a family, students are expected to follow the family's rules. In the event that you and your student are not getting along, we have a support system in place and your Community Representative will work with you on the issues to resolve the situation. If, after mediation and discussion has taken place, serious issues remain, Ayusa is committed to supporting you and the student and finding a new home.
How do I know if the local school will let my student attend?
In most cases, your student can attend your local high school. Your local Ayusa Community Representative will work with the school to determine if there is space for your student and what medical or educational paperwork may be required. In the case that you would like your student to attend a private school with your children, or if the local high school cannot accommodate a student, your Community Representative will work with you to select a student who has funds available to attend a private school.
How do we become an Ayusa Host Family?
Step 1: Indicate Your Interest
Fill out our short interest form to receive more information and get connected with your local Ayusa representative.
Step 2: Complete Your Application
Your Ayusa representative will help you complete the application and answer any questions you may have about the hosting experience. Your representative can also connect you with other host families in your community as you get ready for an unforgettable year!
Step 3: Choose Your Student
Once your application is approved, your Ayusa representative will work with you to find a student to match your family’s interests and activities.