ISP Host Family

Host Family and Student Expectations

Each student (American as well as International) is required to live with a local family. International students are placed with host families who are screened and approved by the school. Students are expected to engage in the family life regularly (including meals, normal house chores, personal room maintenance, and community and social functions).

If you wish to participate in our Host Family Program, please read the following guidelines:

1) Students should be welcomed as a family member and treated with the same amount of respect and compassion that you would give your own child. Students should also be expected to follow the family rules and assist with household chores the same way an American son or daughter might. Students should not be expected to act as babysitters or the only housecleaners.

2) The family should familiarize the student with their house rules: e.g., when dinner is served; what the rules are for "helping oneself" to food; how laundry is handled; what time curfew is; etc. Please do not treat students like a guest; instead try to treat them as a family member as soon as possible. This helps to avoid feelings of being taken advantage of by the student or that the home is being used as a "hotel." As part of the assimilation process, it is also strongly recommended to write down all the house rules with the student during the first week of arrival and to make sure that the student is familiar with the house and all the house rules. Families that expect students to learn by watching the actions of their own children will often be disappointed. Do not expect students to learn through observation only and it is important that all expectations are written down and posted somewhere to serve as a reminder.

3) No attempt should ever be made to change your student's religious beliefs; however, it is acceptable to give your student an opportunity to explore your religion as part of their cultural exposure. You may ask your student to attend church, synagogue, or temple services on a few occasions, but they should not be required to attend regularly.

4) The family must provide a separate bed, in a bedroom or enclosed room, for their student. The student may share a room with one host sibling of the same gender and similar age. The student's bed can not be placed in an open area such as a family room or furnished basement.

5) The family must provide a private and quiet study space for their student to complete their homework.

6) The family must provide up to three meals per day, including a sack lunch on school days. If the student wishes to buy lunch at school the student is responsible for paying for lunch.

7) The family will ensure that the student has transportation to and from the school. If there is no school bus or public transportation available, then the family will have to arrange for a carpool or drive the student to and from school.

8) Family members can be helpful to the student's progress by showing interest in English conversation and asking questions about their progress at school and their adjustment to life in their new community.

9) Money
Your student will bring their own spending money. HORIZON recommends that students arrive with a credit/debit card to access their money or set up their own bank account if they arrive with cash/traveler's checks.They should not share the bank account with anyone else. Students and their host families should not borrow money from each other. Money misunderstandings can create distrust in student/host family relationships.

The student is responsible for all personal expenses including:

  • Meals: The Host Family must provide three meals a day. However, the student is responsible for additional meals. If the student wants to buy lunch at school, he must pay that cost. If the student requires special foods that are not part of family's normal diet, the student is responsible for buying that food.
  • Entertainment: Movies, snacks, sports events, restaurant meals, or HORIZON events
  • Travel and Excursions: Any cost associated with travel activities
  • Personal Items: Toothpaste, shampoo, makeup, deodorant
  • Clothing: All clothing including winter jackets
  • School expenses: Including books, class fees, yearbooks, sports and special events
  • Transportation: Travel to and from school if there is not a school bus
  • Phone calls: Long distance telephone calls
  • Miscellaneous: Stamps, film and processing, and visa-related fees

10) Insurance
Students are insured for medical and dental emergencies. Families should not pay any medical or dental bills. The student's insurance card or information sheet will have the appropriate information for reimbursement. Please see the "Insurance" section for more information.

11) Guns
Guns are not a part of most other cultures. Families who have guns must not display them to the students and should keep themSECURELY LOCKED AWAY at all times. HORIZON International Students are not allowed to participate, in any hunting or gun related events or excursions due to liability purposes. Paintball is not covered by the insurance and is also forbidden.

12) Driving
StudentsARE NOT allowed to drive cars or motorbikes. Students are allowed to take driver's education classes as long as they obtain the appropriate permission from HORIZON, the foreign partner and their natural parents. However, regardless of state driving requirements, they are not allowed to drive with any one other than a licensed driving instructor. Please contact the HORIZON office for details.

13) Smoking
HORIZON ISP students are prohibited from smoking during the program.

14) Travel
Horizon Christian School provides a traditional educational program from a Christian perspective, promising students the experience of living with an American family and attending an American high school. HORIZON is not a travel program, and host families are not expected to take students touring the country. All travel requests must be pre-approved by the host family, HORIZON, and the student's natural parents.

15) Gifts
The family should be gracious in receiving gifts from the student's families, but it isnot necessary for you to feel obligated to give gifts, since you are already providing the student with room and board. It is not uncommon for a family to give their student a gift for their Birthday or Holiday, but should not feel the pressure to give elaborate or expensive presents.

16) Family Participation
Host families are encouraged to participate in HORIZON activities. Students are encouraged and expected to participate in family life, therefore the use of the internet and phone calls home need to be done in consideration of the host family's schedule and in moderation to help with the student's adaptation to the host family and the culture. Please discuss this with your student and be clear about your expectations.

17) Progress Reports
The ISP coordinator periodically contacts the host family for progress with the student to assist in the adaptation to Horizon and the family atmosphere. Please contact the ISP coordinator with any issues so that problems can be headed off quickly. Please do not contact the student's natural parents as this is first the responsibility of the ISP coordinator and the exchange company.