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Frequently Asked Questions

HOMESTAY APARTMENTS

Homestay

How do I apply?

You simply need to fill out our online application form by clicking here.

When should I apply for a homestay?

Students normally apply at least 30-45 days in advance of their arrival in order to allow USH enough time to arrange the best possible homestay matching their needs.

Can I still apply if I'm arriving very soon (less than 30 days in advance)?

Yes, USH will be glad to try to arrange your homestay even if you're arriving in less than 30 days. We will still make every effort to match your homestay needs as closely as possible, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so in a short time span or that we will have a homestay available.

Can I apply if I am not an international student, but have an internship?

Yes! We will be glad to arrange your homestay if you are attending an internship or even if you are from another part of the U.S.

How long can I stay in my homestay?

You may apply to stay as long as your host is available and willing to accommodate you. There is no limit to how long you can stay in the homestay, but our minimum stay is 4 weeks. Please remember that the housing fee payment is due in full upon your arrival. If you are planning to stay for a long period of time, we may be able to break up your payments so that you don't pay all at once. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

What is the minimum stay time?

Our minimum stay is 4 weeks, except for special arrangements (i.e. groups).

How does USH select host families?

USH carefully screens its host families in order to ensure that we have the most caring and dependable hosts possible. In order to select a host family, USH reviews the family's application and interviews the host in their own home. Students also have the option of filling out a survey about their homestay experience. This helps us to track the quality of a homestay and is considered when placing future students.

Can I visit my host family before I move in to the homestay?

No, USH does not allow nor recommend students to visit the homestay prior to move in. This may cause inconvenience to your host since they are already screened by USH. All communication must be directed to USH until your move in day. If you have questions about your homestay prior to moving in, please feel free to contact us anytime. If you are unhappy with your initial assignment, please contact us so we may assist you.

How far will my homestay be from my school?

Homestays are located in the surrounding area of the school. While some may be walking distance, others will be a convenient bus ride to the school. Bus ride travel time may vary depending on your homestay location and traffic.

Can I pay my host for my homestay?

NO, please note that all payments for housing fee and all other payments must be paid directly to the USH office. USH will not be responsible to refund any money or fee paid directly to host. The only fee paid to the host is for the internet (if applicable).

Are the application fee and security deposit refundable IN CASE OF CANCELATION?

No, the application fee and security deposit are non-refundable in case of cancellation.

Can I move to a different homestay if I am unhappy with my initial assignment?

USH uses a very efficient matching system to match you with the best possible host based on your application preferences and availability of our hosts at the time you apply. Therefore, students are usually quite happy with their initial assignments. However, sometimes the student may not like their initial assignment due to personality problems between the host and student, etc. If, for any reason, you are unhappy with your initial homestay assignment, we ask that you contact the USH office within the FIRST WEEK of your arrival to request a homestay change. If you are e-mailing us with such a request, please make sure to include the reason for your request. USH will then determine if the request is valid and if so, we will arrange another homestay for you as based on your request as soon as possible. If you contact us anytime after the first week of the homestay to request a change, you may need to finish your first 4 weeks in the homestay before we can move you to another homestay (unless you have an emergency situation). If you have already been in a homestay for longer than 4 weeks when you request a change, we will try to move you as soon as possible based on availability of homestays.

What if I want to cancel my homestay?

Before you arrive in the US - If you wish to cancel your homestay before you arrive in the US, USH must receive a written notice from you at least 20 days prior to your arrival date in order to cancel the homestay without any penalty (except for the non-refundable application fee and security deposit). If your cancellation notice is received within less than 20 days, you will be liable to pay for the first week of your housing fee. If your cancellation notice is received within less than 10 days or you simply do not move in to the homestay without giving USH notice that you are canceling, you will be held liable for the first 4 weeks payment of your housing fee.After you arrive in the US - If you wish to cancel your homestay after you arrive, USH must receive a 30 day written notice from you. The notice must be in writing, reviewed, and determined a fair decision concerning all parties. Students may move out of their homestay 30 days after the termination notice has been submitted to the USH office and the remainder of the housing fee will be refunded for the time remaining after the 30 days. A cancellation processing fee of $85 will be deducted from the remaining housing fee. Students who move out of their homestay without giving a 30-day notice will not receive a refund.

Can I extend my homestay?

Yes, we will be glad to help you extend your homestay. If you would like to extend, please contact us by email to let us know how many more weeks you would like to stay. Once we confirm the extension with your host, we will also e-mail you your invoice for your next housing fee payment. If your host is not available for the extension, we will inform you immediately and our staff can provide you a new homestay.Please note that you are not permitted, under any circumstances, to deal directly with your host in regards to your extension. As per your homestay agreement, if you would like to extend, you must contact USH directly.

Is there any extra cost to extend my homestay?

There is no extra cost to extend your stay with the exception of your regular monthly fee. Homestay extension is based on availability. We suggest that you email your request at least 2 weeks before your move out date.

Will I have to follow house rules?

Yes, although we provide student guidelines, hosts may also have other rules that you must follow. Please speak to your host directly about any additional house rules.

Can I have an overnight guest in my homestay or bring a family member?

No. USH does not allow students to have overnight guests /family in their host's home. Please check with your host for the appropriate hours your guests/family can visit you.

Can I smoke in my host family's house?

Smoking is not allowed inside the home AT ANY TIME. For those applicants who are smokers, you are allowed to only smoke outside of your host’s home.

Will I have internet access in my homestay?

Most homestays offer internet access for an extra fee that typically varies from $15-$25. This extra fee is determined by your host and it is not included into your homestay cost. If your host offers you internet, please pay the extra fee directly to your host. Please note that internet is not guaranteed. Your host may be able to help you set up your internet account under your name.

Will my host provide me a spare key to the home?

Yes, your host will provide you with an extra key. You are required to return this key to your host on your move out day. If you fail to return the keys then you will be held responsible to pay for the host's cost to change their lock and duplicate another set of keys. An additional $50 fee will be charged for losing or not returning your homestay key.

When and how do I get my security deposit back?

Your security deposit is refundable 30 days after your move out. We ask that you e-mail us 30 days after with your name, move out date, and credit card information. We will then refund your security deposit to the credit card number you provide us. If you are still in the US when you request your refund, you may also choose to provide us with your current address and we can mail you a check for the refund. The security deposit is refundable for up to 36 months after you move out.

Apartments

Why choose apartments with USH?

USH has expertise in housing for over 10 years. This expertise helps us provide to our customers a comfortable housing environment in our apartments during your studies for a reasonable price.

Are USH apartments dorm-style?

No, we offer a fully furnished apartment with bedrooms, walk-in closets, bathrooms, kitchen, balcony and living room areas.

Do I need to bring a roommate if I choose the shared option?

No, USH will be responsible to find a roommate for you. If we don’t find a roommate, you will still be charged for the shared option. We will do our best to find a good match for you, like a student from a different country or who speaks a different language than yours, though the background is not guaranteed.

How soon should I make my reservation? And how can I do it?

USH has limited vacancies and applications should be submitted as soon as possible and as soon as you are sure of your plans. In order to submit the application, please use this link: https://www.usaish.com/apply.php

How do I make a payment?

USH has an online payment system; our customers can pay their fees 24/7 through our website using their credit or debit card. USH also accepts payment in cash, check, bank deposit or via wire transfer.

Are all utilities (gas, electricity, water) included?

All utilities are included; but your rental of the 1 bedroom covers up to US$40.00 per month for gas and electricity and US$60.00 per month in the 2 bedrooms. If your gas or electric bill is higher, the difference is shared by all tenants in the apartment during the billing cycle.

What do I need to bring with me?

USH suggests you to bring a laptop or mobile devices to keep in communication with friends and family. Even though within walking distance you will find department stores and drug stores open 24 hours, it is a good idea to bring personal hygiene items from home.

Will I have my own bathroom or will there be public restrooms in the building?

Each apartment has a private bathroom inside. You will share the bathroom with your roommate. There will be 1 bathroom for every bedroom. In case of the 2-bedroom apartments, there will be 2 bathrooms, one in each room.

What is the check-in time?

USH will make sure the apartment is available and ready for the check-in based on your arrival information. Just please make sure to inform USH staff of your arrival date and time ahead of time so our staff can make sure your room will be ready for you.

How late can I check in?

The check in will be confirmed by USH based on your arrival information. Please make sure to provide us with your arrival information ahead of time. If you fail to provide your arrival information, the check in at a preferred or later time cannot be guaranteed. For convenience, USH recommends that you arrive during the day so you can get to know the area and buy some food before bed time.

Do I need to bring my bed sheets and linens?

No, USH apartments will provide you with a clean set of bed sheets upon arrival. All apartments have air conditioning for the summer and heater for the cooler days.

Do I need to buy plates, pots, silverware for the apartment?

No, USH already provides a fully furnished apartment with the basic kitchen utensils included. If you plan to cook some food that requires specific utensils, there are stores within walking distance where you can buy these items.

Is cleaning fee included?

Absolutely! We want our students to focus on their studies, activities and travels. USH will periodically provide a cleaning service during the day while you are at school.

How often are the apartments cleaned?

Apartments are cleaned prior to your arrival and usually every 2 weeks after your move in.

Can we bring friends over to our apartments?

At the USH apartments, guests are allowed until 10 PM during the week. Overnight guests are not allowed at all times. Your friends can spend the day with you, enjoying the pool and hot tub, but out of respect to your roommates unfortunately overnight guests are not permitted and will result in penalties and a possible cancellation of the contract.

Can I bring my cat or my dog to the apartments?

We would love to have your pets with you, but unfortunately pets are not allowed in our building.

Is the pool and jacuzzi available 24/7?

The pool and jacuzzi are available from 8 AM to 11 PM, 7 days a week.

Do you have apartments in different areas or cities?

At the moment USH is offering furnished apartments only in one location in Westwood – 424 Kelton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024. We may have other locations in the future but not at the moment.

How do I get to your building from the airport – is there airport transportation service?

USH offers transportation service from and to the airport for a small fee. You can request a shared service or a private meet and greet transportation. Please contact us for prices and more information.