What is Homestay?
Homestay is a safe and affordable housing for international students, interns, and visiting professionals.
For international students, it is an opportunity to live in a friendly home with an American family, experience the American lifestyle and culture up close, and practice your English language skills.
For U.S. interns and visiting professionals, it is a convenient and economical temporary housing solution.
Homestay is an especially attractive form of accommodation for stays that range from a few weeks to several months.
Homestay provides guests with:
- A private or shared bedroom: includes linens, bed, desk & lamp, and a place for clothing.
- A private or shared bathroom: includes towels.
- Cleaning of linens & towels.
- Meals (continental breakfast & dinner) if purchased, or, kitchen privileges to prepare meals. Lunch and snacks are not included
What geographical areas do we cover?
San Francisco Homestay places guests directly through our network of hosts in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Silicon Valley. We also place guests in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Houston, through our partners in each of these cities. We directly qualify all of our nearly 300 hosts in Northern California and have access to over 2,000 hosts through our partners all over America. Prices in cities like San Diego and Houston can come at a significant discount from our standard prices. Ask for special promotions!
Who are the Homestay Hosts?
We regularly visit every home, carefully screen, and continually evaluate our hosts to ensure that our high standards are met. All hosts are located in safe areas. English is always the primary language used in the home. Our hosts truly enjoy hosting and are eager to welcome guests in their home.
American families are diverse. As we abide by federal, state and local laws, we do not discriminate. This means that our families reflect the wide diversity of our San Francisco population. They could be:
- Two parent families.
- Single parent families.
- Single individuals.
- Extended families (relatives living with the family or individual).
- A variety of races and nationalities.
- People with pets or children
What is the difference between homestay, residence clubs, & hotels?
In homestay, you live in the home of an American family. You get to experience a more personal accommodation than a hotel or a residence club. You will be asked to abide by certain reasonable standards of behavior that all family members and guests follow. Please refer to both the "Student Guidelines" following this section and those house rules in your homestay. However, should you prefer to stay in a residence club, we can help you secure the one that best fits your individual requirements.
How do you place me in a home?
Your application gives us some basic personal characteristics that we use to match you with an available host home.
You will be placed based upon the following information: Your gender, native language, age, smoking habits, allergies and certain religious or medical dietary restrictions, and commute time to your school or company. We cannot always guarantee that we can meet certain religious or medical dietary requirements that you may have, but we always try our hardest.
Any special placement requests in addition to the ones above might be met, however, they are not guaranteed. We may find in order to meet them, we must upgrade you to a more expensive level of homestay.
Regarding pets: Americans love having domestic pets in their homes. The most common house pets are cats, dogs, and, birds. Most families have pets. Most American pets are well groomed and flea free. If you wish to move into a Family without pets we will seek to accommodate your request but this might limit your options.
Can I use a computer to access the Internet?
Most of our homes allow wireless Internet access, but some do not. We do not guarantee Internet availability in our homes, unless specifically provided under an executive homestay package. If as a guest you are allowed to access the Internet, please follow SF Homestay and host guidelines regarding usage.
Please remember that the use of the phone line for the Internet often limits access to the phone for other family members and guests. Be sensitive to the needs of others in your home.
What expectations should I have of homestay?
Homestay is affordable housing in which you choose to live in someone's home. This is a very different experience than staying in a hotel and requires a different set of expectations.
The nature of the home and the family will vary as America is a diverse nation, but all homestay homes will be safe, clean and close to public transportation. You will be able to practice your English in conversations with your host during shared time in the home, such as dinner time. Many Americans have busy work and personal lives. Families might not eat together every evening.
Because this is someone's private home, you will be expected to abide by the same reasonable rules of behavior that family members follow. The homestay agency and the family set these rules. Please make certain that you understand these rules which are available for you below and when you check-in.
If there are accommodation problems that you need help solving, we will help solve the issues. We want you to feel comfortable and have a pleasant experience. Feel welcome to phone us at (360) 671-5959.
Is Homestay only for students?
No, many corporate interns, university professors, and other professionals visiting the area for several weeks also choose Homestay as their preferred means of accommodation. Homestay provides them with an excellent way to get better acclimated to their new cultural environment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Is Homestay only for international guests?
San Francisco Homestay has operated in the San Francisco Area for close to 23 years and has successfully placed thousands of students, interns, and visiting professionals from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, more than any other homestay agency in the area. Many of our guests heard about SF Homestay through word-of-mouth. Whether in our own staff or in our network of hosts, we have easy access to people fluent in many foreign languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish.
How much experience does San Francisco Homestay have?
San Francisco Homestay has operated in the San Francisco Area for close to 23 years and has successfully placed thousands of students, interns, and visiting professionals from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, more than any other homestay agency in the area. Many of our guests heard about us through word-of-mouth. Whether in our own staff or in our network of hosts, we have easy access to people fluent in many foreign languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish. Our partners in Boston, New York, Houston, San Diego, and Los Angeles, have all a proven successful track record in these areas. Through them, San Francisco Homestay has access to a network of over 2,000 hosts throughout America.