Arrangements can be made for full-time students to stay with area host families by completing the Home-stay Application. All of ILI’s hosts are carefully screened and enjoy hosting international students. Home-stays are within walking distance of the school, or on a bus route. A $265 per week fee includes a room with meals or $165 per week fee includes a room with kitchen privileges. Your host family may be a couple with or without children or they may be a single person. We cannot guarantee a host family for a student who gives us less than 2 months’ notice. A student may have more than one host during his or her stay at ILI. There are more housing opportunities for students who decide to rent a car. Arrangements can also be made for students to stay at one of the many comfortable hotels and Bed and Breakfasts nearby. Visit Noho.com for local accommodations.
Questions & Answers About ILI Student Home-stay Program
What is a “typical” student?
The minimum age for ILI students is 17 years, however many are already pursuing their careers and tend to be older. Students come from all over the world and from a wide variety of backgrounds with diverse ethnic and religious beliefs. Students enrolled in the Intensive English Program often need to prepare for university studies in the US and need to improve their English skills. Some need to learn English for business purposes, or perhaps they are just here for the experience of living and studying English in the US.
Students enroll in the intensive program for 21 hours a week or more. The typical schedule is Monday through Thursday from nine in the morning to two thirty in the afternoon, nine in the morning until twelve noon on Fridays (There are no classes on Friday afternoons). Some students like to spend the afternoons in our computer lab or with new friends exploring the town, while others may go home and study.
What does it mean to live with a host family?
There are many advantages to living with an American host family during your stay with us. The most important benefit is the improvement you will make in your English. You will learn about American culture in a friendly atmosphere where you can ask questions.
Host families can also be a great connection to community resources like local colleges or the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Students often visit local points of interest with their host families. You really become a part of the household during your stay, and often a lifelong friend.
What is a “typical” American family?
Our host families have been carefully selected. They are friendly, caring people who are interested in knowing more about you and your culture. There is no “typical” family in the USA. You may live in a traditional family with two parents and children, or there may be a husband and wife, but no children. You may live with a single woman and her children. We also have some households with two women or two men living together, some of them with children. The parents may both have full-time jobs outside the home. Many families in Northampton have diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.
What do we expect of a host family?
We would like students to be treated as a member of the family and be included in activities when appropriate.
Depending on which option you have chosen, a room with meals includes breakfast and lunch (which are usually light meals that the students can prepare themselves) and dinner (usually with the host and/or family). A room without meals means the student has access to the kitchen to prepare their own meals and to store their own food. In both cases we ask that the host provide a private bedroom (and bedding) with a desk or table, good light for studying, a good chair and an area for clothes storage, and most of all a warm and friendly atmosphere. Our prime concern is to make our students’ experience in the US enjoyable and memorable.
What do we expect of our students?
Because students are a part of the household, we encourage them to interact with the family and offer to help with simple household chores. They will keep their rooms clean and discuss with their host the details of house rules. Students should fix their own breakfast and bag lunch. The evening meal is usually spent together with the host. Students should always let their host know of their daily or weekend plans, especially if they will not be home for dinner.
What is ILI’s role in the home-stay program?
The Housing Coordinator, Amy Ben-Ezra, matches students with their hosts in order to ensure a successful home-stay. Students also receive a handbook with further guidelines. The Housing Coordinator is available to hosts and students to answer questions or solve problems. We also encourage ongoing feedback from the host and the students and offer support as needed.
We invite hosts to participate in as many school activities as they are able to, including field trips, special events, and annual host gatherings.
Living with an American Family: A Guide for International Students