How to Make Money Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student
Qualifying as a Host Family
By sharing your home, foreign exchange students can linguistically immerse themselves.
Many foreign exchanges require that host families have at least one furnished spare bedroom for each student you take into your home. Organizations arranging accommodation for students will inspect your home prior to accepting you as a host family, so it is best to prepare this space before applying.
Providing a home away from home for foreign exchange students can generate a small income.
Ensure that your home's maintenance is in order. You may be asked by some organizations which arrange accommodation for foreign exchange students to show gas or electrical safety certificates.
You may be asked to reveal your finances and confirm your identity.
Host families are fully vetted to ensure that foreign exchange students are kept safe during their stay. Gather the information and documentation required for a criminal records check and be prepared to provide financial documentation. You should also be prepared to provide references upon request.
Interviews are a regular feature of the vetting process.
In an interview setting, you will need to demonstrate that you have the time available to provide the necessary support to a foreign exchange student. Depending on the age of the young person you're looking after, you may be expected to provide three meals a day and daily transport. For older students, less is required. Host families may only need to provide breakfast each day and occasional transportation.
Find a Foreign Exchange Student
Contact local schools to find out whether paid host families are needed.
Traditional foreign exchange programs, particularly in the US, may only offer tax deductions of $50 per month. For more information, see the IRS link in the references section. To make money as a host family, begin by contacting local foreign language, colleges and private schools in your area. You can find listings for these on the Internet or your local telephone directory. A quick phone call should reveal whether any foreign exchange students are currently looking for host families and---more importantly---if you can make money by hosting them.
Abode's traditional homestay package requires hosts to provide three meals a day.
Look for locally-run companies that provide accommodation for foreign exchange students, such as Abode Homestay in Washington State. By signing up for this program, you can earn as much as $21 per guest per night. For homes with more than one spare bedroom, this can generate a nice income stream. Check out your local newspaper's small ads or public bulletin boards near your home to find organizations like this.
Don't forget to include a photo of your family or home with your ad.
Some foreign exchange students advertise privately for host families. E-Rumah is a website which hosts classified ads from students. You can also post your own ad on the site if you become a member. By exchanging emails and phone calls, you can work out the necessary details for a foreign exchange student to come into your home.