A homestay is a very special opportunity to experience American life firsthand.
Some of the advantages of living with a host family include the opportunity to see life in the U.S. from "the inside," and to start a friendship with a family that may last for many years. You will also have the support of an American host, who can provide a safe place in which to begin your studies and get to know some of the culture and the city.
From a practical perspective, because you usually only have to pay one month at a time, homestays give you flexibility if you later choose to move to a different location. Your contract is month to month, so you can choose to stay long-term, or leave after 1-2 months. However, it is important that you communicate your plans if you decide to move out with both your host family and with your homestay agency.
When you live with a host family, you will have your own bedroom with a desk at which to study. Host families are available in many different areas of Seattle, but none are generally more than 45 – 60 minutes away by bus. Host families also are responsible for providing access to food for meals each day.
Seattle Central recommends choosing a host family for the first month or two (or longer!) in Seattle. At some point, once you are familiar with daily life in the city, you can make an educated choice (both in terms of price and location) when looking for an apartment, if you would like to. Many students choose to live with their host family for the entire time they study at Seattle Central!
Tips for host families:
- Apply early for a host family. Seattle Central recommends that you contact an agency at least 6 – 8 weeks before you wish to move in.
- Give the agency as much information as possible. The host family agency usually will try to match you with a family where you will be happy, and will consider things like smoking, strong religious preferences, whether or not you like children or pets, and other important issues.
- Be flexible and ready for something different! Living with a host family is not just a housing option, but a cultural experience!
- Be in touch with your homestay agency if there are problems or potential issues so that they can try to help.
Following are host family agencies working with Seattle Central:
THE PLACE - Seattle
P.O. Box 20731
Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: (206) 351-0121
Fax: (206) 361-7172
Web site: www.theplaceseattle.com
USA International Development, Inc.
9614 NE 201st Street
Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: (425) 483-5974
Fax: (425) 485-1891
Web site: www.ushomestay.com