Two students in winter parkas.

Feeling like you are part of the community is such an important part of life in a new country. For this reason, we sincerely thank you for your interest in hosting a student.

The Home-Stay Program

Our home-stay program allows students to experience life in the USA in local homes. We match area hosts with international students from all over the world. Students who wish to live with a host family are enrolled full time in our Intensive English program anywhere from 4 weeks to 12 months.

Two students sitting on a porch with a host smiling on a sunny day.
International students Edwin and Sotaro, sitting on a porch with a host, Sydney, in Northampton.

“I enjoy meeting new students and sharing stories, good food and special events around town!”

Sydney has hosted over 30 students.


Hosting an international student can be a rewarding experience with various benefits. Here are some advantages:

  • Cultural Exchange – You get to learn about their customs, traditions, and perspectives, which can broaden your own cultural understanding.
  • Global Perspective – You may gain insights into different worldviews, political systems, and global issues, fostering a more open-minded approach to the world.
  • Friendship and Lifelong Connections – The bond created during the hosting period can last a lifetime, creating a global network of friends.
  • Educational Benefits – If you have children, hosting an international student can provide an enriching educational experience for them as well.
International student Yejin enjoying a sunny day with her host family.
International student Yejin enjoying a sunny day outing with her host family.

“Our family loved learning about our host student’s own family, and her life experiences and life goals. It was so cool to re-see where and how we live through her eyes. “

A smiling woman.
Rebecca’s family hosted a student in 2023.

Think you might like to host?

All you need is to be able to provide a private bedroom, a warm and friendly environment for your student and easy access to the school. It’s important that your home be either within walking or biking distance to ILI, or be on a convenient bus route.

ILI provides weekly stipends to hosts that are paid every other week.

  • A room without meals for $150/ week.
  • A room with meals for $250/week.

Got a Question?

See if our frequently asked questions answer what’s on your mind…

Selected FAQs

ILI takes an active role in facilitating successful home-stays by carefully matching students with hosts. During the initial week of the program, a comprehensive student orientation meeting is held, covering essential topics such as adapting to life abroad and building rapport with hosts. Additionally, students are equipped with a handbook containing detailed guidelines. The Housing Coordinator remains readily available to address any inquiries or resolve issues that may arise throughout the stay. We prioritize open communication and encourage ongoing feedback from both hosts and students, offering continual support as necessary.

We would like students to be treated as a member of the family and be included in activities when appropriate. Participating hosts find hosting international students to be a rewarding and enlightening experience.

Every two weeks, host families receive a direct-deposit stipend:

  • $150 per week for a room without meals
  • $250 per week for a room with meals

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 Host an International Student and to store their own food. Our prime concern is to make our students’ experience in the US enjoyable and memorable.

Hosts provide a private room with a desk or table and a good light for studying, a good chair and dresser and most of all, a warm and friendly environment.

Students enroll in the Intensive English Program for 21 hours a week, Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 2:30 pm, 9 am to 12 on Fridays. (There are no classes on Friday afternoons). Some students like to spend the afternoons with new friends exploring the town, while others tend to go home and study.

Our students are 17 years or older. Many are already pursuing careers or a higher university degree. Others want to improve their English to attend university in the U.S. Students come from all around the world and from a wide variety of backgrounds with diverse ethnic and religious beliefs. Students enrolled in the Intensive English Program sometimes 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.

Don’t see the answer you are looking for?
Ask Amy Ben-Ezra, our Homestay Coordinator

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Ready to host an international student?

  • Step 1 – Fill out a host application.
  • Step 2 – Meet with our Home-stay coordinator. Afterward, your home is added to our accommodations list. When a student matches, we’ll contact you. Short notice is possible; let us know if you’re available.
  • Step 3 – Welcome your new student! Tour the town, share a meal, and discuss interests. Our Home-stay coordinator ensures a smooth start and ongoing support during their stay.

Advice on Hosting Students From our Blog

The ILI Promise

At ILI, we believe that all our actions should stem from grace and loving kindness.

Portrait of Caroline Gear - Executive Director
  • We operate as an equal opportunity organization.
  • We nurture relationships beyond the classroom.
  • We are committed to providing the highest quality language instruction and teacher training.
  • We promote intercultural understanding and celebrate the diversity in our local communities.
  • We work collaboratively to build and sustain the communities we serve.
  • We believe in life-changing teaching and learning.