Q. What if the host child works?
A. Most American teenagers work and may not be home all the time. With prior planning, your child may be able to take some time off. Otherwise you can make arrangements for someone else to be around: another sibling, a friend, an adult. While host families are not expected to entertain the student daily, their companionship is essential to the success of the experience.
Q. Are there group activities?
A. It is usually better to have none in order to encourage students to concentrate on adapting to their host family and making American friends. For 2-week spring programs while school is in session, a couple of activities are organized to take the students out of the classroom. For 3- and 4-week immersion programs, no activities are planned. This is in order to promote maximum immersion for the visiting students as well as because of logistics and distances of where students are placed.
Q. What does hosting cost?
A. Hosting costs only room and board. The student is treated as a member of the family, participating in the responsibilities as well as the fun of family life. Each student comes with personal spending money for souvenirs, snacks, ice cream, etc. If families plan activities with entrance fees, such as movies, museums and amusement parks, the recommendation is to make sure the student knows the cost beforehand.
Q. What about medical insurance?
A. All students are covered by insurance. If a medical problem arises, the expenses will be covered. Full insurance details are sent to host families prior to arrival.
Q. Are there activities that are not allowed during the stay?
A. Yes. For insurance reasons, visitors are not allowed to handle guns of any kind, drive any motorized vehicles, ride as passengers on jet skis, ATVs or snowmobiles, and may not participate in high-risk sports such as hockey, archery and horse jumping. We do apologize for this growing list but we must stay within the limitations of the insurance coverage so that everyone is adequately protected.
Q. May we take our student out of town?
A. Yes, certainly. L&F simply requests knowing where to contact you in case of emergency.
Q. What if a problem arises?
A. Based on past experience, L&F is pleased to note that problems are rare. However, should one develop, the host family should contact the local coordinator or L&F to discuss the situation which may simply be a cultural difference. If necessary, an in-person visit might be needed and in some situations, the student could be moved.
Q. Is a separate bedroom required?
A. No. A bedroom may be shared with the host brother or sister of the same gender. It is necessary, however, for the student to have a separate bed, in a non-common area (i.e. living room, open basement, etc.). A separate bedroom would only be necessary if the host family’s children are very young.
Q. Must the host family speak a language other than English?
A. Not at all. Because the students are here to improve their English through total immersion, English is the primary language to be used. All students have had some English study.
Q. What information will be provided?
A. Once you have been accepted as a host family, and we have matched you with a student, you will receive the student’s application, picture, and letter. You will also receive a Host Family Guidebook with helpful information and ideas. You will be asked to write a letter of introduction in English to the student and upload a photo of your family to be sent to your visitor when the match is made.
Q. Who supervises the program?
A. Group leaders, experienced L&F staff, and local coordinators will be in contact with you to provide support as needed. Our goal is a meaningful and rewarding experience for each host and student.
Q. How can my child have an immersion experience like this?
A. Contact your local language teacher or L&F directly to learn more about opportunities for American students. You can also review the information on Individual Programs at Individual Students Information Page.