TLC Homestay Accommodation Policy
TLC can arrange several different housing options for you. If you want us to arrange a homestay family, please complete the Homestay Application and provide payment of the homestay placement fee. Each TLC center may have local homestay policies in addition to the policies below. Local policies will be provided to you when you arrive at the center. TLC Homestay Coordinators will determine the best, possible family placement for a student by matching the student’s indicated preferences on the homestay application against the profiles of available homestay families at the time of placement. For that reason, homestay placement is not first come, first serve. However, TLC will consider those on the waiting list first when a family becomes available.
- A Homestay Application is required. The application must be signed by the student and/or the student’s guardian if under the age of 18 years. Please include the homestay placement fee with the Homestay Application. We cannot arrange a homestay family without the application and fee. The homestay placement fee allows one family change at the discretion of the TLC center director. Additional host family changes require additional homestay placement fees.
- The student is obligated to pay the homestay fee for an entire four-week session after the student has paid the placement fee and accepted the homestay family placement.
- Homestay begins the Saturday before each session begins and ends on the last Friday of the session. You should plan to stay in a hotel at your own expense until homestay begins unless you have made other arrangements with us before you arrive. We can assist you with hotel arrangements.
- Homestay fee is for a four-week/28 day period. Extra days in homestay can be arranged in advance at additional cost.
- You must request in advance if you would like homestay accommodation for less than four weeks. If you do not request less than four weeks homestay accommodation in advance, you must pay for a full four weeks of homestay accommodation.
- Special requirements may delay your homestay placement.
- We will inform you of your homestay family’s profile details fourteen (14) days before your scheduled arrival. If the center is unable to find an AVAILABLE family placement based off of ALL or THE MAJORITY of your indicated homestay preferences, the center will inform you of this at least 14 days prior to your scheduled arrival. If the placement is not accepted by the student and there are no other suitable placements to offer at that time, the student should notify the center whether the student prefers to select another form of housing at that time and whether the student wishes to consider homestay placement again in the future. Homestay placement service is not provided on a first come, first serve basis, but instead is provided when the best match can be made for a client and the homestay family. Another housing placement fee may be required if the student does move into a homestay at a later date. If you request airport pickup service, please send your arrival information early so that we can have someone waiting for you on the date you arrive at the airport. The fees for airport pickup are shown in the TLC application.
- TLC Homestay services vary per location. The number of meals may differ at some TLC locations. Transportation to and from school may or may not be provided at all TLC centers. If your homestay family is not able to provide transportation, your director will assist you with other means of transportation. Please check with the director of the TLC center of your choice for more information about meal plans and transportation availability.
- Though the mission behind the homestay service is to provide a comfortable, safe "home away from home" experience and an opportunity for international students to further immerse themselves in American culture, it is vital for students to understand that there is no perfect match. Furthermore, students and families must be willing to work to understand one another’s cultural differences in order for the experience to be positive for all parties involved. The idea is to learn from one another and for students to see what it is like to live like an American.
- It is also important for the student to understand that the purpose of this housing option is to engage with and learn from the family. The family is not a 24-hour shuttle or maid service.
- Many of the families in TLC’s homestay network have full-time jobs. The homestay should provide a schedule for the student upon move-in so that he/she may expect when family activities will take place, when meal times take place, when the family goes grocery shopping, when the student needs to be ready for school, etc. It is common for Americans to eat a light breakfast during the week. As a result, students may prefer to prepare additional food in the mornings before school. If a student would like for the family to find certain foods common in their country, they may request that the family assist them in finding the nearest specialty market so that the student may prepare some traditional meals during the week.
- Each family has it’s own sub-culture and set of family rules. As long as these rules do not go against the requirements of the service TLC publishes to provide and/or does not break U.S. law, the student will be expected to follow these rules when they accept the placement. Each homestay family is required to provide an up-to-date list of house rules to the homestay coordinator. This list of rules will be shared with the student before placement is confirmed. If a family has not provided the most up-to-date list of house rules to the homestay coordinator and does not follow the grievance procedures outlined below (except in cases where there are legal issues concerning the student), the family may not be eligible for the full session of homestay payment if the student is asked to leave. In the event that the family does not follow the prescribed grievance procedures and does not wish to return the unearned homestay fee, then the unearned amount will be withheld from the next placement should the family wish to remain active within our homestay network.
- Though we are a culturally aware company and understand that the legal age is defined differently around the world, the student is considered “under-age” if below 18 years old in the U.S. The legal drinking age is 21. Therefore, when the under-age student is in the care of the homestay family, the student and their guardian must respect the U.S. definition of legal age. Furthermore, the student and their guardian must recognize and respect the homestay family’s judgement on what is an appropriate activity and/or level of freedom for that age.
- If the student has special dietary restrictions and preferences, including during times of religious practice, the student will need to indicate this within the student’s homestay application. The coordinator will share these restrictions and preferences with the family in order to determine whether they are able to accommodate the student or not.
- If a homestay family provides the student a key to their home and the student loses that key, the family may ask that their home be rekeyed at the student’s expense for the safety of all parties. In such a case, the student may be required to reimburse the home stay family actual rekeying expenses up to, but not exceeding, $150. The student will remit this payment to TLC and TLC will transfer this payment to the home stay family. Receipts justifying the rekeying expenses are required before any reimbursement will be made.
- TLC reserves the right to require that any TLC family hosting a student under the age of 18 undergo a background check at TLC's expense. However, if the family requires a background check of any student living in their home, the check is at the family’s expense and requires the student’s signed permission.
- If a student is unable to pay the upcoming session’s homestay fee by final Friday of his/her current session, the TLC center reserves the right to ask the student to move out of the home. If the family is willing to make a payment exception with the student, the Homestay Family Delayed Payment Agreement must be completed with the homestay coordinator. If the family decides that they would prefer to work directly with the student on payment for services and expectation of service outside a Homestay Family Delayed Payment Agreement, the family will be removed from the TLC Homestay Network and TLC will remove itself from the responsibility of any necessary grievance procedures.
- If a student is going on a leave of absence and wishes to keep personal belongings in the homestay family’s home, the student is required to pay the homestay fee for the time away. If payment is not received on time and the student fails to respond to TLC’s attempts to make contact, the family reserves the right to remove the student’s belongings from the home.
Cancellations and Refunds
- If TLC cancels your program after your homestay placement is made, you will not be responsible for the homestay placement fee. If you have already paid homestay fees, the homestay fees will be refunded to you.
- If you cancel your program before the start of the first (4 week) session in which you are enrolled, the housing placement fee will not be refunded.
- If you do not show up on your planned start date without notifying the center in writing at least one week before to your planned start date, you will be responsible for one full session of homestay fees. (You must provide four weeks advance notice of cancellation in Boston.)
- If you have paid for multiple sessions of homestay fees and decide to move out at the end of a session, you will be eligible a full refund of future session fees as long as you inform the center staff by the end of week three of the session. (You must provide four weeks' advance notice of changes in Boston.)
- If you are terminated by a TLC center due to violation of the center’s written progress, disciplinary, and/or attendance policies, or violation of local, state, or federal laws, the center director will decide if you can continue in the homestay. If you are asked to leave the homestay because of violations, no refund will be made for the remaining sum of the session’s homestay fees that you have already paid.
- Study Vacation Program (SVP) homestay is priced as part of the SVP package. You will not be eligible for any refunds if you voluntarily decide to leave in the middle of a session. However, you may request additional/fewer weeks in advance as part of the SVP package. In that case, homestay fees are calculated on a weekly (not daily) basis. Daily rates are only allowed if you arrive 1-4 days prior to a session start date.
- If you are living with a TLC homestay family and wish to move out at the end of the session, then you must indicate that you want to move out by Friday of week three. (You must provide four weeks advance notice in Boston.) Otherwise, you will be charged a homestay fee for the following session.
- If you make alternate housing arrangements on your own during the course of a session and move out of the homestay, you will not be eligible for any homestay fee refunds for that session.
- If a TLC homestay family does not provide you with satisfactory service, such as food, transportation, and comfortable living space, you may discuss your concerns with the center director. Every effort will be made to find a new homestay family for you, if we do not find a resolution that is reasonable and acceptable with the current homestay family.
- If the homestay family expresses to the homestay coordinator or center director that behavioral issues, such as breaking house rules or drinking and smoking where prohibited, have occurred repeatedly, the center director and/or homestay coordinator will make every effort to resolve the situation. If after the appropriate grievance procedures have been followed by the homestay family and intervention by the homestay coordinator and/or center director has taken place, the student’s behavior in question continues, the family has the right to request that the student leave the residence. In this case, the student will not be eligible for any refunds for the remaining days of the session.
- If your host family asks you to leave due to special circumstances outside of your control, you will be eligible for a prorated refund of homestay fees.
- Under circumstances where the center Director recommends a homestay fee refund, the refund will be made to the source of the fees. If your homestay fees are paid through a TLC representative in your country, the refunds will be processed through, and paid to, your representative.
- You are solely responsible for any and all damages you may cause to the property and premise of the homestay family. You are also responsible for making all personal international telephone calls using your personal cell phone or international phone card.
Revised September, 2014