Where Do I Live When Studying High School Abroad?
Host Family or Dormitory?
For international high students, "where will I live?" and "who will take care of me?" will be just as important as "which high school is best for me?" You'll be in a new country, with a new language, with new customs to navigate, and a new school system. You will need lots of support.
Educatius Group's experienced team takes care of your accommodation and supervision, so you will feel safe and confident! This accommodation, as well as ongoing support from professional staff, is included in all Educatius Group high school programs abroad.
International students studying on our Classic or Academic Exchange Programs live with carefully selected local host families. You'll live with a local family within a reasonable distance of your school. They'll of course provide you with a place to live and meals, but more importantly they provide care and support as you start your life in a new country.
Students choosing an exact SELECT high school live with host families for Public and Private high schools, or on-campus dormitory accommodation for boarding schools.
Each host family member is carefully screened by Educatius Group according to our long experience in host family and high school programs. And each international student is assigned an Educatius staff member (Local Coordinator) to provide additional local support to the student and the host family. Local Coordinators provide orientation, assist with questions or problems that the student might have, and provide monthly reports for parents based on interviews with the school, host family and student. The student's success is monitored on a regular basis, and in case they need extra support in any area of their life, our team will be ready to assist them.
In a dormitory at a boarding school, international students live side by side with their fellow students. There is an incredible amount of friendship in the dormitories; and students having dedicated spaces to sleep, study, eat and hang out. There are always sports, clubs and events every day of the week so students can join fun activities, meet new people and cultivate talents. Adults living in the dorm are always available to support students. Best of all, students have the easiest commute to class - a short walk!
Whether you are in a host family or a dormitory, you'll get an incredible amount of support and help adjusting to your life and studies abroad.
Why do our Host Families host International students?
"Our family has hosted for 2 years in a row & this has been one of the most remarkable, rewarding & touching experiences of our lives! My children have grown so much by having older “siblings!” We’ve been able to open the world to them & share the cultures of: China, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany & Spain! Our Chinese son said he will forever be grateful that he had us as parents because he now has 2 cultures. When our host sons arrived they were shy & worried about their English skills, but being in a house with children made them feel comfortable. As family we help each other when needed, enjoy all the students victories, eat meals together, play games together, celebrate holidays & much more! Hosting has forever changed our lives and we are the ones BLESSED!"
Living with a host family is a great way to learn about your new culture. You'll be able to practice your English (or local language) with family members and get an incredible cultural immersion experience while you study at high school.
You'll live with a real local family and they come in all shapes and sizes. They might have children, or might not. There will be 1 or 2 international students maximum in the home. Another international student in the home is a great way to make a new friend! You might walk to school, take a bus or the family will drive you. Most importantly we will place you with a family that wants to welcome you into their life and share their local culture with you.
On the SELECT and Academic Exchange programs, after you are accepted to the school, our staff will work to find a host family for you in the region of the school. We'll confirm the host family with you as soon as possible, but it should be no later than 4 weeks (SELECT) or 2 weeks (Academic Exchange) before your first day of school.
At boarding schools, students live in residential dorms, right on campus. International students will live among local students and feel a part of an incredible community.
International students love living in dormitories at boarding schools in the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or France because they can easily create new friendships with other students, receive support from adult supervisors and there are always many activities to join.
It's an easy walk to class every day, no matter how bad the weather is! And the food is great - many boarding schools have professional chefs or organic gardens that allow students to choose from a range of healthy and delicious dishes every meal.
Dormitories are always divided into completely separate facilities for boys and girls. They vary in configurations but will generally have comfortable bedrooms, convenient bathrooms, study areas, and a space to relax with other students.
We go the extra mile to take care of every one of our students. Every international student on our program has traveled far away from home and is facing new life and usually a new language. We take care of thousands of international high school students each year as they embark upon the most incredible year of their life. And we know how to do it!
Our Service Promise for our USA, Canada, UK and Ireland SELECT and Academic Exchange high school programs let students and their parents feel confident in how we will prepare students and their host families, how we screen our hist families, how we check in regularly with students to assess their academic and social well being, how to reach us in case of emergency, what we will do if the student has a concern. No matter what happens, we are there to support our students.
What our Students Say
“My host family is not just a host family anymore, but my real American family that I can always rely on in the future.”
My best memory with my host family is probably the fact that they have always been there if I needed them. I can count on them like on my real family. They were always ready to help me with whatever I needed help!! Thanks to them I learned the American culture, moments like Thanksgiving and Christmas, memories that I’ll never forget. I really consider them as my second family and they’ll always be in my heart.
My local Educatius coordinator, Nikki, has also always been there for me. As a coordinator, as a coach, as a friend. I know I can always rely on her. I had great moments with her and her family too.
I met the greatest people ever! I really felt at home here in the US. I tried things I would have never tried normally. It was an awesome time with other friends that weren’t in my school too. This year was full of great moments with great people, and I will never forget this experience that changed me forever!
One of the best things living in a dormitory on campus is that we are two minutes away from school. We literally have to walk two minutes to get to class. My favorite thing about living in the dorm is the interaction with the people. I consider myself a pretty social person. So the ability to talk to anybody at whatever time is great. We have a pretty big game room. We have a pool table, we have a TV in the TV room. There are a couple of shuttles going to town during the day, so after you finish the school day around 2pm, you can go whatever you want. You can go shopping, you can go to the mall. I prefer to go to the gym personally. On the first day, I already made three American friends. They came to me and they said “let’s go, let’s go do something.” So I felt welcomed right away.
My host family is really great! They treat me just like their own kid and took care of me when I was sick. I celebrated every holiday with them and received many awesome gifts from them. I also celebrated Chinese New Year with them and they like the gifts I prepared! I’m now on the school soccer team and I appreciate that they can pick me up every day after practice. My host family would also come to the soccer game and cheer for me. I am so glad that I could stay with them in my first year in United States. Although, I am busy on my schoolwork and I feel so tired, I still have a good time in school, with my host family, and on the soccer team!
I knew studying abroad would absolutely be the best choice for me because I was so afraid of making big changes in my life. My classmates and teachers at school so were nice and patient. They would help me fix the problems and answer my questions in class. My host parents would also give me a hand when I was frustrated finishing my homework. Everything is new for me and being an international student this year really changed every aspect of my life.
Meet Some of Our Host Families
“We made some lifelong friends! Our student easily became a part of our family and when her family came to visit we had such a wonderful time. We keep in touch regularly and are looking forward to staying with them for a visit in the future.”
Crystal and Clinton are a married couple from Urbandale, Iowa with four children; Ella, Zeke, Drake and Cecilia. Clinton “Clint” is an account manager for a data security company. He enjoys outdoor activities like golf and fishing in the summer and hunting in the fall and winter. Crystal is a stay-at-home mom. She likes to sew, spend time outdoors, travel and volunteer in their community. Their children, two boy and two girls, range from 5 to 13 years old. Together, the Patterson family is involved in many community groups and sporting activities.
“Going in, we were a little bit nervous. We have four kids, so we didn’t know if we could handle another one in the house; especially a teenager. But over the course of this year, we gained a totally different perspective on life and the opportunity to expand our family. I feel like he gave us more than we gave him. Our kids love him, and he was so sweet. He was always willing to jump in and help. He was an all-around great kid.” - Crystal
Serena is a single woman in her 30’s who was always curious about hosting and wanted to show students the beautiful town and outdoor nature where we live. She is a teacher with the School District and works with aboriginal youth. She enjoys exploring and hiking and has two large dogs. She pays attention to healthy eating and spends a lot of time cooking. She lives in an area very central to the town and it is walkable to sports areas, shopping, the school and in a nice area with young families. She is also a certified lifeguard and sometimes works at the local pool. She loves our local area and that we have access to the lakes, the ocean and incredible hiking.
After one year of hosting a student from Vietnam and a student from China, this is what Serena has to say:
“This year hosting two international students has been such a rewarding experience. My home has changed from having just myself, a single professional woman and two dogs, to adding two wonderful teen boys who bring stories and lessons of their cultures, and who have been so respectful and helpful. I’m grateful I was accepted to host students this year, because although I knew I might not be the ‘typical’ host family, as a teacher and a lover of the outdoors I thought that I could take on this responsibility and be able to provide students a positive experience. I have supported these students by helping them with some homework, driving them to activities and taking them to new places to experience. I have loved this experience, and it has been easier than I expected. The students have been very independent and dedicated to their schoolwork, and they have appreciated exploring new places, especially in our natural environment. It has been great getting to know these students and I would suggest becoming a host family to anyone.”
“I have hosted international students for a number of years. My family love their company. We love to learn about their cultures and their different way of life. Personally, I love to watch these students progress in their love for English but they also mature emotionally and become so independent over the year. By the time they leave Ireland they are so confident and have met so many friends that they never forget. Many students return to visit us on short trips back to Ireland which is also fabulous. I would really recommend hosting international students, as it is also beneficial for my children to learn how to share, to communicate, and meet other people.”