International Program: Host Families

Hosting an International Student

Do you have a warm and loving family? Would you like to share your culture and experiences with others? Are you excited by the opportunity to have a young international student discover America through your eyes?  Invite an international student to stay with you for a year while they attend DeSales High School. The experience is enriching and rewarding for both the students and host family alike. You get to learn about different cultures and traditions while sharing your own.

As an interested host family you will participate in the selection of the student. By taking the time to learn about your home and habits, we will be able to help you select the best match for your family. Clear expectations and guidelines are determined prior to the student’s arrival so that the transition for your family and the student will be as smooth as possible.  You are supported throughout the international student’s tenure by the faculty and staff at DeSales, webinars on cultural issues, translation services, monthly check-ins, and organized events with other host families.

Participating families will receive a generous stipend, need to live within a 40 minute commute of DeSales, speak English at home, and ensure that the student eats three nutritious meals a day. Being able to involve the student in family events and activities enriches the experience for all involved. Attendance at school meetings to review the international student’s progress is required.

What Are the Responsibilities of the Host Family?

  • Providing 2-3 meals a day, including at least one hot meal
  • Ensuring that the student does his or her homework
  • Ensuring that the student arrives to school on time
  • Submitting monthly Residential Progress Report. These are only one-page in length and you are guided through with specific questions. You can work on these with the International Student Director.
  • Keeping in close contact with the International Student Director and informing her of any issues in or outside the home
  • Taking the student to all medical appointments and signing off on all treatment. Remember, the student will have his or her own medical insurance
  • Going to the pharmacy to pick up medication
  • Taking the student to outings to expose him or her to American culture, whenever possible. We will try to support these efforts by working with all the Host Families who are participating in this program
  • Attending relevant school meetings
  • Knowing where the student is at all times
  • Promptly reporting any mood changes or changes from normal behavior) e.g. not eating enough, eating too much, not sleeping, sleeping too much, etc.) to a contact person at the school. Your International Student Director should also be informed of changes like this
  • Provide all bedding
  • Each student should be provided with a dresser, desk for quiet study, personal bed, chair, lamp, place for personal belongings, and some private space. He or she should also have free access to a washer and dryer in the house
  • The student’s room must be in appropriate accommodations. A room in a basement is not typically considered appropriate residential accommodations.
  • If you plan on having two international students or have the student share a room with a same-sex child within the household, please let you International Student Director know as soon as possible. Some students prefer not to share a room

If you would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life while enriching your own, please contact Kathy Ruthven at
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