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Frequently Asked Questions



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.

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 $125 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.