Finding Host Families for F-1 International Students
The goal of the SAE F-1 High School Program is to assist international students in identifying quality screened host families to stay with while they are studying in the United States. Many students from abroad send applications to schools, only to find out they cannot attend school without a local address and guardian. Student Ambassador Exchange will help you find a host family excited for your school year and the cultural experiences you bring!
Student Ambassador Exchange also assists schools who would like to have more international students on their campuses but who do not offer host family finding services to their applicants. We can assist your students in finding a local host family in your area that is carefully screened and excited to have an international student in their home.
The SAE Homestay Program prides itself on finding quality host families for international high school students studying in the United States. The biggest benefit of our program is total language and cultural immersion with an American family. This allows students in our program to progress in their language development at home while being able to focus on academics at school. SAE will be there for students and families every step of the way, with orientation, mid-program, and departure training, as well as 24-7 emergency contact information.
Interested applicants and host families can use this page to find out more information on our program fees, program inclusions, and how to apply.
- Receive admission acceptance from selected U.S. high school
- Demonstrate academic competency for enrollment in a rigorous educational program
- Be in good health
- Complete SAE program application in full, with all supporting documentation
- Be between the ages of 15-18 years of age upon arrival (may not be older than 18 prior to first day of enrollment in high school)
- Not have graduated from high school in home country
- Be willing to accept placement with a Host Family in your school’s area as arranged by SAE Program Coordinators
If you are a student interested in studying in our Homestay Student Ambassador Exchange Program, please call 1-512-323-9595 ext. 3061 for more information.
Students enrolled in SAE can expect the following:
- Accommodation with a vetted local host
- Arrival, mid-semester, and departure training sessions for both students and families
- Administration of a host family stipend
- Daily meals taken in the host family’s home
- Transportation to and from airport for arrival and departure from country
- Support from an SAE Program Coordinator, including weekly and monthly check-ins
- Illness and Accident Insurance
- Arrival and Departure Orientation
As a part of the program and in order to secure a visa, participants are required to carry health insurance. Since there is a 30 day grade period after the J-1 visa and internship ends, we also encourage participants to purchase an additional month of insurance to cover a month of travel in the US.
SAE will assist international students in locating suitable housing during your stay in the US. Participants in the internship program are still required to pay for their own housing, but SAE will assist in locating suitable housing based on participant needs.
You will want to consider your budget when discussing housing with your SAE Program Coordinator. While many students would prefer to live alone, the cost of living in major US cities where many of our internships are located can be quite high. It is often cheaper, and a more rewarding experience, to have roommates during your stay.
Typically you’ll want to find shared, furnished housing, close to work or public transportation, and with some sort of utility inclusion. Remember that all of your living expenses cannot be spent on housing – you’ll still need to pay for food, other necessities, and some leisure activities while you are here. Many housing locations require a security deposit and first month’s rent for move in.
It is very important that international students do not purchase plane tickets prior to receiving approval from their SAE Program Coordinator to do so. SAE is not responsible for lost funds if an applicant purchases plane tickets or makes housing arrangements ahead of time, only to find out their housing has not been approved for one reason or another.
Transportation to and from school will be provided by your host family or through public transportation with the school. During their stay in the United States, host students are NOT ALLOWED to operate or drive a vehicle. Doing so may result in your suspension from the program.
We encourage participants to travel during their stay in the U.S. Many host families ask their students to participate in family vacation; it is a great time for students to bond with their new host families. Students should plan on bringing their own funds on vacation with their host families.
If you plan to travel outside of the US, please notify your SAE Program Coordinator.
Please contact your SAE Program Coordinator with questions about travel during the Homestay Program!
Prevention is the best tool for safety. We recommend exercising the following guidelines to increase your safety during your stay:
- Students should never travel alone and should avoid traveling at night for safety purposes.
- If people approach you for money, you may decline. Do so politely.
- Avoid deserted streets, subway stations, and bus stops – always travel where there are numerous other people close by.
- Make sure to have a map or a route so you know where you are going.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash in public.
- Do not leave valuables or luggage unattended, and do not ask anyone to watch these items for you.
While the United States is generally safe, precautions can go a long way in ensuring your safety!