Students gather in front of the Cascade Buidling

Homestay Frequently Asked Questions

Hosting is a wonderful experience full of challenges, immeasurable rewards, and new opportunities for learning.

Due to COVID 19, are you still accepting Host Families?

Right now, due to COVID and a reduced amount of students, our incoming students number is significantly lower than normal. This can mean a longer wait time for students to be placed in your home. Also, our campus is working remotely, including student classes, which means that your family will be spending significantly more time with an international student.

What does it mean to be a host family?

There are no set definitions for what constitutes a host family. What we seek in a host family are people who have kind hearts, compassion and warm personalities, and who desire to build a better world, one international friendship at a time.

What are the duties of a Host Family?

Hosts are inviting students to become a member of their family. This means that they are providing more than just the basics (bed, bedding, desk, lamp, clothing storage [dresser or closet], fully functioning window, and internet)—they are providing students with a safe, inclusive, generous and hospitable experience.

Additionally, hosts must live within a 45 min bus commute (with less than 1 transfer) or provide students daily transportation, and be willing to provide two meals per day (full hosting).

How long is the commitment?

Homestay commitment is dependent on the program host's desire to participate. Our program offers a few different hosting options including:

  • Short Term Hosting*DUE TO COVID* All short term programs have been temporarily suspended. Usually our short term hosting program requires the host to only commit to a 2–6 week length. Typically, other colleges or groups will come in to tour our school, complete short term study abroad programs, or attend a language intensive. Available at Fort Steilacoom campus only. Puyallup/Graham families that wish to participate may do so only if they are willing to provide transportation.
  • Long Term Hosting: Host families commit to student placements for three months or more. This includes a full homestay experience (two meals per day) or a partial homestay experience (no meal requirements). Available at Puyallup, Fort Steilacoom, and Thun Field Programs

Do host families receive compensation?

All hosts in our program receive a stipend to help cover the cost of hosting students. The stipend for full hosting is $650/month and for partial homestay it is $500, which is the no meals option; however, very few students choose the partial homestay option. The short term rates are prorated by day or per session. All stipends are paid directly from the student, although we do have exceptions for short term groups and/or students on a specific government program in which the government releases a check to the college and the college provides funds to the family.

What countries do the students come from?

Students come from all over the world, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Eastern Europe, Turkey, South America, Central America, and many more places!

Do hosts have to go through any kind of screening?

Yes, hosts must complete an application, pass a background check, provide references, attend a host family orientation, and complete an in-home interview prior to hosting. Every year after, hosts commit to being a part of the global community by attending hosts and community events, an annual renewal orientation and in home visits.

Is the host family the legal guardian or sponsor for the student?

No, hosts are not legal guardians of the students. Many students are over the age of 18. Students who are younger than 18 have medical waivers on file from their parents or legal guardians in their own country. Hosts are instructed to never sign on behalf of a student for anything.

I am ready to host, how do I get started?

Email Ashley Chambers at with your contact information, the housing program you are most interested in, and your home address. Someone will contact you within two days with your next steps.