FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do we have to do anything to get the visit approved by the school?
Not usually. Andégo works closely with each school's administrators to obtain approval for the students' visits. We will contact the language department at school as well as the school administration. Throughout the program, we support teachers, administrators, students, and host families to make the most of this learning opportunity.
What is expected of host families?
We ask that families provide three meals per day and a separate bed. With our teen programs, students can share a room with another student or a host sibling as long as they are of the same gender and close in age. The students have chosen a homestay program because they really want to practice their English and learn about American culture; therefore, the most important role of our host families is to include them in day-to-day activities and conversations and make them feel like part of the family!
We don't have a spare room--can we still host?
This is a common question! The students need to sleep in their own real bed but can share a room with their host sibling of the same gender and close in age. In fact, we find students who share a room with their American sibling often bond more quickly. In the case that you don't have an extra bed, a good solution is for a host sibling to sleep on an air mattress and give the student his or her bed.
Our family doesn't fit the "mom and dad and two kids" model, can we still host?
Of course! Our host families come in all shapes and sizes. The only requirement for this program is that you have a teen at home or close nearby who will be the international student's main companion.
What is expected of students?
The students are expected to make every effort to adapt to your family's schedule and way of life and use their English language skills. All students are screened by our partner organizations in their home countries. Our partners abroad provide comprehensive orientations before the programs begin. Students and their parents also sign an agreement that spells out the program rules.
Do the students speak English?
Yes, and they really want to practice and improve their English! The students’ skill levels vary depending on their age, nationality, and prior experience with the language, but all students on our school visitor programs must pass a language requirement to participate in the experience. In any case, we have plenty of suggestions on how to make communication work across the language barrier. Smiles, funny drawings, gestures, and simple English phrases go a long way!
Do we need to speak our student's language?
No. In fact, if you happen to speak your student's language, we prefer that you don't use it. One of the main goals of all our students is to improve their English. The sooner they get used to working through the challenges of language immersion, the more progress they will make. It might seem helpful to offer to speak in your student's native language, but you can actually help more by speaking slowly, writing down difficult words, or trying to phrase things differently. It's fun to watch students get more comfortable with their English language skills each day!
Can our visitor join extracurricular activities?
Great idea! Most visitors would love to practice with your teen’s sports team, club, or music ensemble, as long as it is okay with the coach or teacher! Bringing an international student into the mix often adds to the fun! Be sure to let us know if you want us to match you with a student who shares an enthusiasm for a particular sport or hobby.
What will the international visitors do at school? What about after school?
Your teen visitor will shadow a host sibling at school, assist the language teacher as requested, and offer an international perspective during discussions. If host siblings are busy after school, the teens are prepared to do things like work on a school project, help prepare dinner, or play with younger siblings. The visitors are often welcome to spend extra time in language classes.
Will there be other international students in our town or school?
There might be. Each school welcomes a certain number of visiting students per program based on the number of interested host families, classroom sizes, state testing schedules, and other factors. Your international teen might be the only one from their group in the school, or there might be a few others.
Are there planned activities with the other visiting students?
There are not any planned events or activities all together once the students are with their host families. Some students may be in the same language class at school, but we encourage the students to spend their time with their American friends and host families instead of others from their group. This allows them to be fully immersed in their families' lives and the English language.
What kind of support does Andégo offer?
Before the arrival of your student, we will provide an in-home orientation that covers everything from cultural differences to suggestions for helping your student adapt to your way of life. Throughout the program, our hosting coordinators will be available to answer any questions you may have and to solve any issues that may arise. We are on-call 24-hours, in case of emergency. We want students and families to have a successful and rewarding homestay experience, and we do everything possible to help facilitate this goal.
What if our student becomes sick or injured?
All students are covered by medical and accident insurance. Coverage is comprehensive, except for eye and dental care (unless required as the result of an accident). The application form for minors includes a medical release formed signed by their parents/guardians. In case of illness or accident, we ask you to treat your student like your own child and act accordingly. If there is a serious problem, families should contact us as soon as possible so we can keep the student’s parents informed.
Can we travel with our student?
Of course! Any experience that you can provide to include your student as a part of your family while exposing them to American culture and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest (or beyond) is fine by us! If you plan on taking a trip out of the country, you must notify Andégo and the student's parent(s) must sign a form to ok their international travel with your family.
Does it cost to host? Are we compensated?
This program works because of the shared interest in discovering new cultures and new people. Host families don't pay anything to host beyond room & board. We ask that you treat your visiting student as a part of the family, sharing in the fun and mundane of day-to-day life. Andégo does provide a small stipend to host families as a gesture for the responsibility that comes with feeding an extra mouth for a few weeks.
What if there is an issue with our visiting student?
We do our best to match students with families who have common interests and personalities, but it's not a perfect system. Although rare, if there is an issue with your student we ask that you contact Andégo so that we can help you and your family navigate the situation. Teachers from the visiting students' schools will also be checking in with students throughout the stay. Many times a simple cultural difference can be the source of an issue that we can resolve, but if not a family change can be made.
All students are covered by travel insurance in case of emergency and you can always get ahold of Andégo in case of emergency.
Other questions? Reach out to our School Visitor Coordinator- firstname.lastname@example.org