Housing and Residence Life

Host Family Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the house requirements in order to be a Homestay Family?

In addition to the desire to share your home and your life with another person, there are some requirements:

  • Must be under 15 minute walk to bus stop from your home
  • Must be under a 60 minute trip to campus by bus (includes walk to/from bus stops, and transfer time)
  • Each student needs to have a private room (at least 81 square feet) with a window, a bed, linen, dresser, closet, desk, light, and a door that can be locked
  • All residents over age 18 must complete a background check
  • It is preferred that family is fluent in English and that English is spoken (on TV and radio too) in the home
  • Must have 3 meals a day available to student – 5 cooked meals a week

2.  Is there a limit to the number of students any one family can have?

Our first goal is to try to get each family at least one student. There are limits put on by the city as to how many non-related people can occupy a single dwelling. Each student must have his/her own space as in #1. As each family situation is different, if there are specific concerns, these can be discussed with the Homestay Coordinator on a case by case basis.

3.  What about transportation?

Each homestay family must be under 15 minutes of walking to the bus stop and 60 minutes by bus to the college (including transfers, and walk to bus stop). If your family does not fall into either of these categories, it does not mean that you can not be considered; however, students placed in your home would most likely be those with their own transportation or it would be on a sight first basis. (This means that the student would be able to visit the home first before being placed there. 

4.  What about the use of equipment in the house?

In addition to bathroom and eating facilities, each student needs to have access to laundry and the telephone for local calls and internet. It is not recommended to let a student use a business computer. Family computer is optional. It is great if there is a “student computer” available.  

5.  What if my student wishes to make long distance calls?

The student is expected to pay for all long distance calls that he/she makes. A telephone card or a cell phone might be the best answer. Students may also wish to put in their own phone line. Edmonds CC does not recommend that the student be allowed to make long distance calls on the family phone bill. Exception: Student should call his/her family on arrival night.

6.  What do I do about meal times?

Each household is different. Communicate with your student about when meals are served. Homestay families are expected to provide food for 3 meals per day. The evening meal should be prepared at least 5 nights a week. If you will not be home at mealtime, let your student know. If the student will not be home, he/she should let you know. In either case, have food available for the student to eat when he/she arrives home.

7.  What is the process to become a Host Family?

  • Send an e-mail with: name, address, phone number, and bus number (from home to school), then we will send a letter with information about our next Orientation.
  • Take part in the Homestay Orientation. At the orientation you will learn more about the process of becoming a host family, stipend procedures, program guidelines, and how to solve cultural issues and miscommunications that might come up.
  • Have your home visited by a Housing staff member
  • Fill out all paper work and return to staff member at Home visit
  • Pay $60 at Home visit (one time fee for applying)
  • Once we have all paper work in, backgrounds finished, and all looks good to host, we will call about possible placements.