FAQ on host family

The following is a list of commonly asked questions about the host family. If you do not find an answer to your specific question please email us at host@hamdenedux.org

Hosting a Student

Q. What motivates a family to host an international student?

A. Every family has their own reasons. Hamden Edux families have said hosting is an opportunity to gain a lifelong friend.They've also said they wanted to embrace another culture while sharing their own. Finally, some families maintain that it improves their children's understanding of today's globalized world.


Q. Why should host families work with a professional homestay agency?

A. The two most important reasons families work with an agency is to minimize liability and ensure legal protections. Hamden Edux functions as the legal guardian of each enrolled student. This role waives any legal repercussions for host families and partner schools. Lastly, Hamden Edux requires all participants, through a binding contract, to maintain a respectful code of conduct. Host families can expect a courteous relationship from all parties involved.


Q. How long do students stay?

A. Students typically stay on a 10-month academic year basis. Students can decide if they want to travel during school breaks. If, at the end of the school year, host families decide not to renew their agreement, the student will be placed with another host family. Temporary placements are another option, but they range in time and are agreed upon prior to placement. Continuing the contract is encouraged but not required.


Q. Can I host the same student for multiple years?

A. Absolutely! Students and host families often build strong bonds and seek to live together for the duration of the student's school career.


Q. Can a school faculty member host a student?

A. A special connection occurs when faculty and students attend the same school. However, some institutions do not allow faculty members to host. If no restrictions exist, faculty members go through the same application process as anyone else.


Q. Can I host more than one student?

A. It is possible to host more than one student, but there are additional requirements and vetting for those who choose to do so.



Q. What do I need to become a Hamden Edux host family?


  • at least 25 years of age
  • a private bedroom or one shared with a same-gendered American child 
  • 3 meals per day, though Hamden Edux students often buy lunch at school
  • transportation to and from school or the nearest bus stop
  • welcome students as part of your family


Q. I am a single parent. Can I be a host?

A. Of course! We have a wide range of approved hosts within our program and encourage all interested parties to apply.


Q. Can I still host a student if I have a pet?

A. Definitely! In fact, some of our students prefer living with families who have pets. Students are asked before placement if they have allergies or a fear of animals.


Host Family Responsibilities

Q. What sort of time commitments do I need to make?

A. We encourage students and host families to build meaningful, lasting relationships. When not in school, students will have free time most afternoons, nights, and weekends. Host families use those occasions to introduce students to their family and community traditions. 


Q. Do I need to personally drive the student to and from school each day?

A. Although we prefer host families to transport students in person, it is not a requirement. Students can take a school bus or carpool with a trusted source. In those cases, host parents are responsible for ensuring that students arrive safely.


Q. Are host parents accountable for the student's grades?

A. While it's wonderful if host parents are willing to help with coursework, it's not required. A local advisor is assigned to each student and works closely with them and their school to ensure all academic responsibilities are met.


Q. What do I do if the student breaks the law?

A. Immediately report their behavior to your local HAMDEN EDUX staff member.


Q. What do I do if the student gets sick?

A. Students come to the US with health insurance. If they require medical assistance, please let your local Hamden Edux staff know. Never at any time is the host family financially responsible for a student's medical bills.


Q. Do I communicate with the student’s parents?

A. Due to cultural differences, please do not contact the student's parents directly. If you have any questions or concerns about the student, ask your local HAMDEN Edux staff member. Our trained bilingual team will get in touch with the student's family and address any issues.


Application Process

Q. What does the application process entail?

A. Our host family approval process includes:

  • A written application
  • A brief phone interview
  • An in-person interview at your home
  • A criminal background check (at no personal cost)


Upon successful completion of all the above, you will be officially offered membership into the HAMDEN EDUX family!


Q. Who determines which student I will host?

A. After looking at a group of family profiles created by Hamden Edux staff, students choose. HAMDEN EDUX then contacts host families and provides them with a student profile to introduce them to their new family member.


Q. After I have been successfully approved as a host family, am I guaranteed a student?

A. No one is guaranteed a student. However, the majority of our families are matched with a student within the first year of being approved. All applications are stored in our database for as long as you would like, allowing us to offer you regular opportunities to host a student.


Q. When does the "matching" process take place?

A. The bulk of our matching takes place between April and August. Outside of that window, it's important to note that we offer a number of additional hosting opportunities.


Concerns about Hosting

Q. Are host families offered any compensation for hosting?

A. HAMDEN EDUX provides a monthly stipend to offset additional costs associated with hosting a student. Stipend amounts range depending on whether host families personally transport students to and from school.


Q. How will I receive my stipend?

A. Every month, stipends are distributed via direct deposit. Local HAMDEN EDUX staff will notify host parents when to expect payments.


Q. Will I have to pay taxes on the stipend I receive?


  • International education agencies such as HAMDEN EDUX are required by law to issue a Form 1099-MISC to host families who receive $600.00 or more in stipend payments per year.
  • There is not a specific exclusion from gross income for stipend payments under the Internal Revenue Code; therefore stipends should be reported as gross income.
  • The Form 1099-MISC will identify the total receipts of stipends over the course of a calendar year. This is the gross receipts for service as a hosting family, not taxable income from hosting. A hosting family may take a deduction for expenses directly associated with hosting. 
  • Please keep a log or records and save receipts for costs specifically associated with hosting your student(s), for example:

  1. Furniture that you bought exclusively for an international student.
  2. Transportation.
  3. Medical expenses.
  4. Entertainment.
  5. Food.

  • Be sure to speak with a tax expert to learn the most beneficial tax treatment on the stipends you received.
  • Please fill out your Form W-9 as soon as possible so that HAMDEN EDUX can timely issue your family a Form 1099-MISC. 


Q. How does Hamden Edux support its host families?


  • bilingual staff is on-call and available for translation services
  • customized Host Family Guidebook and orientation provided pre-arrival
  • monthly check-in from your local HAMDEN EDUX staff member
  • frequent events and activities planned for host families and students

Q. If any problems arise with the student, who do I contact?

A. Each host family has a local advisor who serves as the primary liaison between you, HAMDEN EDUX and your student's school. Should you need to contact a student's parents or navigate any cultural miscommunications, HAMDEN EDUX's bilingual staff is a call away.


Q. Can we still host even though our family has already booked a vacation during the time the student would be living with us?

A. We encourage all parties to apply even if they will not be able to host for the entirety of the student's stay. In those scenarios, HAMDEN EDUX will find a temporary placement for the student during your vacation.

Q. I'm not available right now, but I would like to host in the future. Should I submit an application?

A. Yes, by all means! Once we have approved your application, we will save it in our database for as long as you would like. This allows us to offer you both short and long-term hosting opportunities as they come in throughout the year. 

Q. I can't host, but I know someone who can. Can I refer them to you?

A. Please do! In addition, any time you refer an applicant who becomes a qualified host, you earn a $300 referral bonus.

Q. Am I allowed to invite my student on family trips?

A. Of course! The best way for students to completely immerse themselves in American life is to participate in family and community outings.

About the Students

Q. What is the age of the student I'll be hosting?

A. Hamden Edux works primarily with students in middle and high school. Their ages range from 13 to 19.

Q. What country will my student be from?

A. We primarily work with students from China and South Korea, however we do receive homestay requests from students from many other parts of the world, including South America and Europe.

Q. Can I request a male or female student?

A. During the application process, you will have an opportunity to state gender preference. Please note, however, that stating a preference limits the pool of potential students you could host.

Q. Do the students have health insurance?

A. Every student arrives covered by an American health insurance company. Hamden Edux is the student's legal representative, so host families never have to worry about signing medical forms that hold them responsible for a student's finances or debt.

Q. Are the students able to speak English?

A. Most students have good English communication skills. Nevertheless, it's important for host families to serve as patient mentors, particularly upon the student's arrival since students may be nervous speaking a second language in a new country.

Q. Are the students allowed to drive?

A. For safety reasons, Hamden Edux doesn't allow any of our students to drive while they are enrolled in a program, regardless of their age.

Q. What types of visas do the students hold?

A. The vast majority of our students will be coming with an F-1 student visa. 

Q. Do students staying for the school year go home for breaks?

A. Many students decide to go home for winter break, although some will stay with host families. Almost all students go home for summer breaks.

About Hamden Edux

Q. Is Hamden Edux recognized by any third party organizations?

A. HAMDEN EDUX is approved by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). It is one of the top assembies responsible for vetting international education providers. Its certification reflects HAMDEN EDUX's commitment to providing a safe and accommodating homestay experience for both students and host families.

Q. Why should I choose Hamden Edux?

A. HAMDEN EDUX is not a recruiting agency. Our goal is not to simply place an international student with an American family. Instead, we provide a complex web of support to both students and host families. We work with the students pre-and post-arrival in the United States, guiding them throughout their academic journey. For host families, we regularly check-in to make sure all their needs are met. HAMDEN EDUX also provides 24/7 guidance in the event of an emergency. For us, creating a welcoming and secure environment in which to facilitate cultural exchange is the most important mission of all.