Your Financial Questions Answered


What can we expect to be responsible for as a host family for a high school exchange student?

You are only responsible for providing a safe environment for the student to live, study, and sleep and provide three meals a day. As a host parent, you would also provide or coordinate transportation to and from school for extra-curricular activities and other school functions as you would for your own children.

What expenses are exchange students responsible for?

Exchange students are still financially supported by their natural parents when studying abroad and are expected to have $250-$300 per month to cover personal expenses during their exchange year. These expenses include any school fees, extra-curricular activities, social activities with friends, travel, insurance copays, and other medical costs not covered by insurance, clothes, personal toiletries, and any specialty food items a student may want to have that is not something you as a host family normally purchase or consume.

My student is requesting particular food items, do I have to pay for them?

Exchange students are expected to integrate into their family, including eating the same food provided for the rest of the family. If your exchange student requests a particular food or drink item you do not normally purchase for your family, it is customary for the student to cover the cost of such items. An example would be if your family does not buy or consume soda in your home, and the student wishes to have soda, the student would be expected to purchase that item.

Who is responsible for paying for school lunches?

Host families are responsible for providing three meals a day. On school days, host families are expected to have food available for a student to pack a lunch to bring to school. If your exchange student prefers to eat a lunch the school provides, the student is responsible for paying for the school lunch.

Who should pay for the student’s meal when we dine out as a family?

Host families are responsible for providing three meals a day. If your family chooses to eat out for one of those meals, then you should plan to pay for your student’s meal as they are another member of your family. It is strongly recommended to set clear guidelines with your exchange student on the spending limit you have at each restaurant to help set expectations right from the start.

I want my student to join our family vacation, how do we handle the additional financial costs?

Although there are no requirements for host families to travel with their exchange student, we understand that some families have trips planned and would love to have their exchange student join them. If that is the case, it is important to clearly communicate what the cost will be for your exchange student to join you on this trip so that they and their natural family can budget accordingly. If your exchange student is not able to join your family on the trip, your Local Coordinator will happily secure a temporary placement for them while you are away.

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Your Financial Questions Answered

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