for Host Families

Open your home to the world

Become a host family and welcome an international student into your home.

You'll experience true cultural exchange, make lifelong connections and represent your community to the world.

EF Host Family

Few experiences can spark interest in the world like opening up your home and becoming a host family for an international student. Being a host family with EF is a unique, rewarding, fun and educational experience for all members of the family and an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships. Our EF host families enjoy the chance to meet new international friends, and appreciate a great way of sharing and learning differences in languages and cultures.

With EF, you can become a host family and welcome an international student into your home. You will experience a true cultural exchange, represent and demonstrate your community to the world. As a host family you become a vital part of our students’ time abroad and their experiences. Our host families become the students' home away from home,while providing a safe and comfortable environment for our students.

By becoming one of our host families, you give our students a chance to experience maximum cultural immersion by living as locals – with locals. As a host family, you give them the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into your local culture, pick up expressions with much greater ease and return home with a more authentic accent.

Become a host family for international students today and be part of this great cultural exchange. EF is looking for host families throughout the United States, in and around our many locations. Join our host families today and offer our students a profound experience that can change their view of the world – and might change yours too.

On this site, you can learn everything you need to know about becoming a host family with EF. You can browse through all our destinations in the United States.

Become a host family with EF today. Contact us now to learn more!

Hosting foreign students with EF

EF students travel abroad for a full-immersion experience, and by hosting foreign students with EF you become an essential part of our unique program. Host international students with EF and be the host family students dream of by offering a warm and secure way for students to immerse themselves in the daily life in their new country.

By hosting foreign students, you can enrich their understanding of local culture and customs and help your host students pick up expressions and slang with greater ease while they acquire a more authentic accent. Most importantly, host students develop meaningful relationships with their families that often last far beyond the duration of their language course, and our families regularly return to host foreign students again. Hosting foreign students is a great way to experience cultural exchange and welcome an international host student into your home. It is also a way of developing lifelong connections, as well as representing your community to the world. Take the opportunity and try hosting students with EF today!

Hosting students & finding the perfect match

We want every host student and every family hosting foreign students to be fully satisfied with their homestay arrangement. Our local EF staff person will keep in close contact with you regarding availability of students, and we’ll do our best to accommodate any special requests. Hosting students can be a new experience to many families and our accommodation team is always ready to support you.

Hosting students & your responsibilities

We ask that our host families provide each student with:

  • A warm friendly welcome;
  • A clean, comfortable well-lit room, with sufficient heating, a bed, ventilation, natural light, storage for clothes and use of a table or desk;
  • Bed linen and towels which should be cleaned by the homestay provider on a weekly basis;
  • Regular access to the bathroom as per a member of your family;
  • A key or access to your home at anytime;
  • Transportation to and from a local bus stop in the area, where EF will provide the student transportation to and from the school;
  • Breakfast, a packed lunch, and dinner; and
  • Access to laundry facilities at least once per week.

Staff support, 24 hours a day

EF staff will be with you every step of the way when hosting students: guiding you through your student’s transition to their new country; introducing you to other families in your community; and listening to your feedback & ideas for future hosting experiences.

You can be absolutely certain that when you host international students with EF, our staff is always available for you - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Host international students & the screening process

Making sure our students are welcomed into a safe and welcoming environment is absolutely vital to the success of our program. Families wishing to host international students are carefully screened and interviewed in their homes by our experienced Host Family Program Manager.

Gain a unique experience and contribute to a student’s journey of a lifetime by hosting foreign students with EF. Contact us today!

Over 50 years of satisfied host families

Throughout our long experience organizing homestays, we’ve heard from a countless number of host families who rave about the program. Many of them continue to host students with us - some for years on end. We couldn’t be more proud of the families we’ve partnered with over the years. Watch our videos to meet a few of them and see what they have to say about the program.

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Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas - Dead Brains
Barbatuques - CD Tum Pá - Sambalelê

100 nationalities - and counting

Bringing the world together is part of our mission. At any given time of year, you can find up to 100 different nationalities at our International Language Centers. Our students come from places like France, China, Italy and Germany.

Our diverse student body means that you'll truly have a global experience when you host an EF student.

But don't take our word for it, see what real EF students have to say about the program

Frequently asked questions

Hosting an international student is a big decision, and we're here to help.
Browse our frequently asked questions, and if you’re not fully satisfied simply contact your local EF office.

What are my responsibilities as a host family?

Families must provide a bed, breakfast, packed lunch, an evening meal, and transportation to and from a local bus stop where a school bus will transport the students to and from school. Host parents must submit an application, provide references, complete a background check, and allow one of our experienced staff members visit your home. Students bring their own spending money for personal needs, souvenirs, entertainment, and other incidentals.

I am not a "traditional" family, is it still possible to host?

Of course! We welcome all those who wish to host international students, regardless of the setup of the household.

May I host more than one student at a time?

Yes, you may host up to four students at one time. Most families like to host more than one student, as it gives the students a companion. It also gives your family the chance to learn more about another culture. Up to 3 students may share a room and up to 4 in your home, but all must have their own bed

What if there is a problem with our student?

Your local accommodation team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should you have any questions or concerns. Our students must comply with all program rules and our staff will ensure they follow these while staying with your family.

In case of an accident or illness, who do we contact?

Help is only a phone call away--EF staff are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will be detailed by your local office prior to the summer season commencing. And all students travel with health and travel insurance. Your Host Family Program Manager can assist you with any questions that may arise.

Where will our international student study?

EF students attend classes at a school in, or close to, your community. Courses include daily English and cultural lessons combined with a full activities program that students take part in Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The evenings and weekends are times for the host families to bond with the students and to share their culture. Occasionally, your student may travel on an EF trip to a nearby city for the weekend.


Earn $25 for every family you refer.

Our families represent the diversity of American culture— some have young or teenage children, while others may be empty-nesters, same-sex couples, or grandparents. The one thing that all families share is an interest in learning about other cultures and sharing their American life with a student.

Refer a caring family you know and we will pay you $25 when they host with EF. Refer as many families as you like and earn more!

Already a member of the EF Homestay program? Login to refer your friends!

Not a member? Please send an e-mail to and someone from our organization will be in touch within one business day to speak more with you about your referral.

Our locations - EF host family USA

EF International Language Centers are found all around the globe; and each has the need to accommodate students in local host families. For over 50 years, we've been accommodating students in our host family program. The allure of American culture makes our programs in the United States very popular. While the list below features our United States destinations, many other cities around the world host our students from 2 to 4 weeks during the summer months.

EF Host family USA

EF has many centers around the USA. If you live in or within one hour of one of these areas or towns, you're eligible to be part of the program. The EF Host Family USA program is your opportunity to experience great cultural exchange as well as creating long-lasting relationships. The EF Host Family USA program and its destinations are:

  • Northern California
  • Monterey
  • Central Coast California
  • Southern California
  • Florida
  • Northern New Jersey
  • San Diego
  • Redondo Beach
  • Canada- Toronto

Become a host family and welcome an international student into your home. You'll experience true cultural exchange, make lifelong connections and represent your community to the world. That is why so many of our host families return year after year to host students again.

Join the EF Host Family USA program today. Contact us now!

Other destinations

If you are not located within the areas listed above, our High School Exchange Year program and our International Academy program are looking for host families throughout the entire United States.

About EF

In 1965, Bertil Hult, EF's founder, was determined to develop a method of teaching English through discovery and activity - action learning. He took a small group of Swedish junior-high students to the South Coast of England to live the language - encouraging them to use their classroom language skills in real-life situations, and acquire authentic accents through contact with native-speakers their own age.

EF Language Travel was born. EF's innovative concept of action learning spread quickly. By 2015, EF offers language programs in 54 countries on nearly every continent and is now the world’s leading educational travel provider; offering students the opportunity to experience a new culture abroad, improving their language skills and participating in a full activity program.

Living the language

Full cultural and linguistic immersion is at the core of what we do. By living in a homestay accommodation, interacting with local people and studying a personalized course, EF students don’t just learn a language, they live it.