TLC Homestay Service

TLC’s homestay service aims to provide comfortable, safe, and appropriate homestay housing to students in order to maximize their exposure to the English language and American culture.


Homestay Student Policies

  1. APPLYING FOR HOMESTAY: Homestay service requires (a) completion of a homestay application and (b) payment of the housing placement fee. Placement cannot be guaranteed, but four weeks advance notice typically leads to successful placement. Moreover, most TLC locations have a waiting list for homestays, so it is critical that students wishing to live in a homestay submit their application as early as possible.
  2. APPLICANTS UNDER 18: Because not all TLC locations are able to accommodate underage applicants, TLC recommends underage applicants contact their TLC location and confirm availability before submitting their homestay application.
  3. HOUSING PLACEMENT FEE: The housing placement fee is for one family placement. Additional family change requests may incur additional housing placement fees.
  4. HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE: A homestay session of service is for 28 days. The period begins on the Saturday before the first Monday of the session and ends on the final Friday of the session. See below for details regarding five-week sessions.
  5. HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE MODIFICATION: If approved by TLC and homestay family, a service period greater than or less than 28 days may be arranged if it is requested at least one month in advance and paid for in advance. Homestay service charges, when modified, are prorated by day.
    1. TLC sessions rarely span five (5) weeks; when this occurs, students will be notified in advance that if they wish to live and/or keep their belongings in the homestay for the entire five weeks, they will be charged for additional days spent in the homestay beyond the 28-day session of service. Charges for additional days will be prorated according to the student’s length of stay.
    2. Students who do not wish to extend their Homestay Session of Service beyond 28 days will be required to make other housing arrangements at their own expense or request such services from TLC (fees may apply).
  7. HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE FEE: A service fee covers one session of homestay service, which is 28 days. The fee amount varies by TLC location; refer to the TLC Website for details. See also Payment sections.
  8. PAYMENT OF FIRST HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE FEE: Once the student has accepted the proposed family placement, the student is obligated to pay for the first homestay session of service; payment is required before the student moves in.
  9. PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE FEES: A homestay session of service fee is due by the last Friday of the current service period.
  10. PREPAYMENT OF MULTIPLE HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE FEES: A student may prepay for multiple homestay session of services in advance. Should a student wish to cancel their unused homestay services and request a refund of those unused service periods, the request must be received by TLC by the end of week 3 of the current service period.
  11. FAILURE TO PAY HOMESTAY SESSION OF SERVICE FEE: If a student does not pay for the next session’s homestay period by the last day of the current homestay period, the student will be asked to move out of the homestay’s home immediately.
  12. HOMESTAY PLACEMENT: A homestay placement is made by matching as many of the student’s indicated preferences as possible with the preferences of the available homestay families; for this reason, homestay placement is not first come, first served. Only one homestay placement match at a time will be sent to a student to consider.
  13. HOMESTAY PLACEMENT NOTIFICATION: 14 days prior to student’s scheduled homestay start, TLC will notify student of family match. The student must notify TLC if (a) the student accepts this match, or (b) the student does not accept this match. Failure to notify TLC of the student’s preference may result in forfeiture of the family match, which may delay homestay services. If the student does not accept the family match, the student must notify TLC if they would like another family match to consider or which other housing option the student would prefer. In situations where family matching is unsuccessful, the housing placement fee may be applied to other housing options, held as a credit for future homestay services, or refunded if requested by the student.
  14. ARRIVAL/MOVE-IN: The student must arrive on the scheduled homestay start date. If the student will not arrive on the scheduled date, the student must notify TLC at least 7 days prior to the scheduled start date, or the student may forfeit their homestay fee for that session and may be required to pay an additional housing placement fee should the student request another homestay.
  15. EARLY ARRIVAL: If the student arrives before the scheduled homestay start date, the student will need to arrange and pay for temporary living arrangements elsewhere, such as a hotel; TLC will help the student if assistance is needed.
  16. WEEKLY HOMESTAY SCHEDULE: The homestay family will provide the student with a weekly schedule, so that the student is aware of meal times, work schedules, when to be ready for school, possible curfew, etc.
  17. HOUSE RULES: The homestay family may provide a list of house rules. These rules may not conflict with TLC policy or US law. The student must agree to follow the house rules before accepting placement with the family. Failure to follow house rules may result in removal from the homestay and forfeiture of homestay service monies paid.
  18. MEALS: Homestays provide 16 meals per week. Custom meal provision may be available for special cohorts or minors; inquire with TLC center if interested.
  19. PETS: Many homestay families have dogs and cats. Students are asked to indicate their preference for dogs and cats or any known allergies on the homestay application. If a student chooses to change their homestay family because of a homestay family’s pet, the student may be charged a housing placement fee.
  20. TRANSPORTATION: Homestays provide transportation to/from school. Students will not be expected to use driving services as their mode of transportation to/from school. If a student chooses to get to/from school/school sponsored activities by other means, TLC and the homestay are not responsible and the homestay rate will not be prorated. Families are not required to provide assistance outside of school-related transportation.
  21. PHONE CALLS: Student is responsible for making all personal international phone calls using student’s personal cell phone or an international phone card.
  22. ALCOHOL: Students under 21 years of age may not consume alcohol in the US.
  23. DAMAGE/WEAR AND TEAR: The student is responsible for any and all damages to the property and premises of the homestay family caused by the student. Damages as a result of normal wear and tear in a home is the responsibility of the homestay.
  24. HOUSE KEY: If the student loses a house key, the student may be required to pay the homestay through TLC the cost of replacement up to a maximum of $150 to replace the homestay’s locks to restore safety.
  25. LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND VACATION: Students taking a vacation or leave of absence may request to leave their belongings in the homestay family’s home granted (a) the homestay family agrees, and (b) the student pays an additional housing placement fee – failure to pay the fee may result in the family removing the student’s belongings.
    1. TLC will survey the student’s homestay experience each session, so that students will have frequent opportunities to note their satisfaction and rectify any issues.
    2. If a TLC homestay family does not provide student with satisfactory service, such as food, transportation (if included in service fee), and comfortable living space, the student may discuss their concerns with the Homestay Coordinator. If TLC is unable to resolve the situation with the current homestay family, every effort will be made to find a new homestay family for the student.
    1. disobey house rules; TLC policy; or local, state, or federal law
    2. abuse the homestay family’s transportation service; the homestay family is not a shuttle service
    3. disregard general cleanliness and organization of the household; the homestay family is not a cleaning service
    4. request money or a personal loan from the homestay family
    5. consume alcohol, in or outside of the home, if the student is under 21 years of age
    6. remove the student’s belongings from the house in order to avoid payment for days in a Homestay Session of Service
    7. expect to have a positive homestay experience without putting forth effort to cooperate and be respectful
    8. demand specific foods or food preparation methods, not mentioned on their homestay application— additional fees may apply
    1. Requested by student...
      1. A student who wishes to end their homestay housing at the end of the current session, must notify TLC by Friday of the third week of the Homestay Session of Service, or the student will be charged for the first week of the following Homestay Session of Service.
      2. A student who moves out of the homestay during a session of homestay service without prior TLC approval IS NOT eligible for a homestay refund for the remainder of the unused service period.
      3. A student may request to change a homestay family by contacting TLC and explaining the situation; however, the student must give TLC an opportunity to resolve the situation before the student moves out or the student will forfeit any homestay service monies paid and may be required to pay an additional housing placement fee should they choose to live in another homestay. If TLC determines that the family is not meeting their obligation to the student, the student will receive a housing credit (amount of credit determined by prorating number of days remaining in the session of service) and a second homestay placement will begin with no additional housing placement cost to the student.
    2. Not requested by student...
      1. If student is terminated by TLC due to violation of TLC policy or violation of local, state, or federal laws, it is at the discretion of the Homestay Coordinator and center director as to whether the student may continue in the homestay until the end of the current service period.
      2. Students are not eligible to receive partial refunds for the remainder of unused service periods if terminated due to a violation of policy or law; unused, prepaid service periods will be refunded.
      3. If a homestay family requests the student be removed for reasons unrelated to the student, the student will receive a second placement at no additional cost and a prorated refund for the service period issued.
      4. If a homestay family requests the student be removed for reasons related to the student (such as but not limited to breaking house rules or state or federal law), the student will not be due a refund of the remaining portion of the current service period, and TLC may refuse further homestay service to the student.
      5. If TLC permits future homestay service, the student will be required to pay a second housing placement fee should the student choose to apply for another homestay.
    1. Homestay fees are included in the SVP package price.
    2. Students who abandon their homestay before the service period ends are not eligible for a refund of any unused days in the current Homestay Session of Service.
    3. The student may request homestay services for additional/fewer weeks in advance as part of the SVP package; refer to the Homestay Policy for details.
    4. Student is held to the same policies as regular program students.
    5. Student will be subject to another homestay placement fee should the student choose to move to another homestay when the current family has met all service requirements.
  30. REFUNDS: Refer to TLC’s Refund Policy for situations or questions not covered in the TLC homestay policy. It is the student’s responsibility to see their TLC admissions office with questions regarding TLC policies.

Homestay Family Best Practices

  1. TRANSPORTATION: Approved forms of transportation include use of a private vehicle such as a car, truck, or van. Rideshare, taxi, bicycle, and bus are not approved forms of student transportation covered by the homestay service fee. If the homestay is unable to provide or arrange other transportation to/from school (example: carpooling with another homestay), the homestay is to notify the center director immediately.
  2. LAPSE IN SERVICES: If you will be unable to provide meal, transportation, or any other required services during a homestay period, notify TLC of the days those services will be unavailable as soon as it is known, so that arrangements can be made to accommodate the student. Compensation for that session may be prorated to accommodate other arrangements for the student during that lapse of service. Under such circumstances, student may move out without notice and without being penalized on fees.
  3. MONEY: A student’s request for money or a personal loan is unacceptable and must be reported to TLC. See also Homestay Family Delayed Payment Agreement.
  4. DAILY SCHEDULE: Provide your student with a sample weekly schedule including who works when, at what times meals occur, when grocery shopping will occur, at what time the student needs to be ready for school, etc. It is also recommended to provide examples of what each meal will typically contain in case students are not accustomed to eating a light breakfast or a heavy dinner, for example. Contact TLC for an example weekly schedule.
  5. MEALS: A student may request help finding traditional foods from their home country. These items are typically available in specialty food stores, or you may contact TLC for assistance. This is a fun way to allow the student to exchange their culture with you by cooking a meal. Families are not required to provide a hot, sit-down meal for every meal, but on average one meal a day is expected from this service. If your student is not happy with the food options, the Homestay Coordinator may have suggestions to accommodate. Leftovers and fast food are common in the U.S, but not internationally, and this should be considered when planning meals. If the student does not join the family for meals regularly, please notify the Homestay Coordinator.
  6. RELIGIOUS OBSERVICES/DIETARY RESTRICTIONS/PETS: Dietary restrictions, religious observance requirements, and pet preferences are indicated on the student’s homestay application and will be communicated to the homestay family before the family has agreed to accept the student. If the student fails to disclose this information, a relocation may occur at the student’s expense. The student may be requested to pay a nominal, additional fee each session to cover the difference in cost to meet dietary restrictions. The student is responsible for assisting the family in meeting his/her dietary needs. The student should not be required to eat only meals that meet the family’s dietary restrictions, and the family is not required to eat meals that only suit the student’s needs. However, options must be provided to the student.
  7. HOUSE RULES: Each household has its own culture and expectations. Homestay families are required to provide current house rules to the homestay coordinator. As long as these rules do not conflict with TLC’s published services or US law, the student will be asked to agree to follow these rules when accepting the placement. Setting clear expectations from the start will make things easier on you and the student. Contact TLC for an example list of house rules. Note: If a family does not provide the most up-to-date list of house rules to TLC, the family may not be eligible for the full session of homestay payment if the family should ask the student to leave due to breaking a house rule. In the event that the family does not return the unearned Homestay Session of Service fee, then the unearned amount will be withheld from the next placement should the family wish to remain active within TLC’s homestay network.
  8. ALCOHOL: The legal drinking age in the US is 21 years of age; therefore, students under 21 years of age may not consume alcohol in the US.
  9. HOUSE KEY: If the student loses a house key, the homestay family may require the locks to be changed at the student’s expense (max. $150 reimbursement). The homestay family must request reimbursement through TLC (not the student) and provide evidence of the expense (receipt).
  10. HOSTING UNDERAGE STUDENTS: All persons living in the house must undergo a background check before an underage student may be placed with the family. If permission is not granted by the family to run the background check, a student will not be placed with this family. If the family is housing another international student over the age of 18, the family is not eligible to house an underage student. TLC must be notified of any new persons moving into the house to ensure a background check occurs.
  11. BACKGROUND CHECKS: If a homestay family wishes to conduct a background check of a student, this is at the homestay family’s expense and prior permission from student is required in writing. See also “hosting underage students.” Please note that TLC students entering the United States on an F-1 (student) Visa are only able to obtain that Visa after meeting with US officials in the home-country embassy; embassy officials routinely carry out criminal background checks and verify funds, additional records, and facts pertaining to Visa applicants.
  12. STUDENT FAILURE TO PAY: If a student fails to pay for the next session of homestay service by the last day of their current service period, TLC reserves the right to ask the student to move out of the home. If the family is willing to make a payment exception, they may request TLC to prepare a Homestay Family Delayed Payment Agreement.
  13. DIRECT STUDENT PAYMENT NEGOTIATIONS: If the homestay family decides to work directly with a student regarding payment, the family will be removed from TLC’s homestay family network, and the family may not request TLC’s services to address issues arising with the student.
  14. LEAVE OF ABSENCE/VACATION: If a student is taking a vacation or leave of absence, they may request that the homestay family allow them to leave their items in the home while they are away. This is at the homestay family’s discretion and must be communicated to TLC in advance.
  15. PAST AND NON-TLC STUDENTS: The decision to house someone who is not currently attending TLC is at the discretion of the homestay family. Please communicate availability to TLC should it deviate from the expected norm.
  16. NUMBER OF STUDENTS AND NATIONALITY: The number of students and nationality of students in a homestay family is at the discretion of the homestay family. Nevertheless, TLC aims to mix nationalities in a single homestay household in order to promote English exposure and immersion in non-native culture.
  17. REMOVAL OF FAMILY FROM HOMESTAY NETWORK: Homestay families who do not meet the goals of TLC’s homestay mission will be removed from TLC’s homestay family network. A family that allows a TLC student to live with the family once that family has been removed from TLC’s homestay family network will not receive assistance from TLC.
  18. HOMESTAY FAMILY PROFILE: The homestay family will populate a profile at the time of application. The characteristics and preferences indicated in the profile will be used to match a student with the family. It is the homestay family’s responsibility to notify TLC if any details in the profile need updating. If the family must terminate any service during a Homestay Session of Service, the family must notify TLC as soon as possible, and depending on the situation, the student may be refunded at the family’s expense.
  19. REQUEST TO REMOVE STUDENT: If all other efforts have failed, and the family wishes to remove a student from their home, please contact TLC to make this request. TLC will make every effort to find alternative housing and relocate the student as soon as possible.
  20. EVICTION AND REMOVAL OF STUDENT’S BELONGINGS: Once a student’s Homestay Session of Service ends, if the student has not paid to secure an additional service period, and the homestay family wishes to remove the student’s belongings, TLC asks that the family please contact TLC first before removing the student’s belongings, so that TLC may assist with the removal and delivery of the belongings to the student, if possible.