Thank you for your commitment to hosting! Warm-hearted host families, who welcome students into their home and help them on this dynamic study abroad adventure, are appreciated for everything that they do. At the end of the day, students are successful because of their great host families, and homestay providers could not be more grateful.
As the COVID-19 impact continues to evolve across the world, we continue to try to react as quickly as possible to these changes and stay up to date with correct recommendations, guidelines, and mandates which vary from State to State.
Keeping Your Family Safe
Please help yourself, family, students, and us by doing your part and following CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and warm water, wash for at least 20 seconds, making sure to also wash your fingertips.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-90% alcohol.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- If your student is sick, please keep them home and stay in touch with your doctor, making sure to abide by the CDC’s directions.
You may reference the following website for more detailed information from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html).
Remain Calm During Sensitive Times
There may be concerns about how these types of incidences are perceived in the United States. Cultural insensitivity and stereotypical assertions can become more “viral” than the actual incident. It’s important for families during this time to be more aware of how your students’ emotional outlook may be affected by these events.
- Please encourage open dialogue and provide emotional support.
- Please practice a heightened sense of awareness while in the community with your student and be diligent in speaking up when you encounter those who are culturally insensitive.
- This is our opportunity as global citizens to stand together to support and display empathy for our collective friends in China.
We would like to thank each of you for your continued commitment to closing the cultural gap and helping to make our world a smaller place by hosting students. Your hospitality and generosity do not go unnoticed.
International Student Homestay Guidance
- Daily Routines: As many schools move to a temporary period of online learning, please begin planning how your family’s daily routine in your home will support the school plan. Help your student plan healthy break periods and participation in family activities. Follow State-level recommendations.
- Open and Consistent Dialogue: Families are encouraged to have open and consistent dialogue with their student(s) regarding the developments of the virus in their communities. The more you talk with your student and ensure clarity on the factual developments of virus effects and recommendations from the CDC and State health agencies, the more they will develop a healthy sense of well-being, precaution, and safety. Additionally, engaging in an open conversation about your family’s new routine as it applies to leave home for activities, grocery shopping, and work will become increasingly more important.
- Understand Cultural Differences: For students from Asia, please keep in mind that China mandated quarantine across all provinces and limited every individual’s ability to freely move about in the community. Some of these measures have occurred in various parts of the U.S. This can create a high degree of confusion, concern, and worry among natural parents of our students who are from China. The concern may then be passed to your student if he/she is Chinese. Therefore, it’s important to have empathetic discussions about the protective measures you will take around daily life outside of the home.
- Healthy Habits and Social Distancing: Please take the time to talk with your student about how you intend to practice healthy habits in line with the guidance provided by the CDC and local health authorities. Social distancing is important, as well as reviewing this practice with your student.
Recommended Travel Policy During Covid-19
We continue to remain vigilant and closely monitor developments to help prevent the spread of the virus while keeping our students, host families, and staff safe. It’s recommended that:
- All domestic and international student travel by air, train, or public bus should be prohibited until further notice.
- Students limit exposure to crowded public areas.
- All work-related homestay employee travel should be suspended.
- Any homestay employee who travels by air, train, or public bus should avoid contact with students, hosts, and school community for 14 days after their return.
As the situation evolves, study abroad agencies and officials continue to work hard to ensure regular communication with the appropriate authorities, follow any recommendations they issue, and keep you informed of any new developments for the safety and well-being of international students and host families. As always, your continued support, collaboration, and understanding are greatly appreciated as everyone works to navigate the circumstances.
Host Family Travel
Please remember the importance of communicating with your study abroad agency, in advance, about business or personal travel and following current State-level requirements. The revised policy prohibits most trips and notes that if a host family plans State and Federal guideline-opposing travel, the student will be relocated. For your own safety and the safety of your student(s), host families are asked to postpone travel for at least thirty days.
As state situations change, students are encouraged to remain with their current host family, and host families are encouraged to follow the guidance provided. You can find extra support from homestay agencies as they help to ensure your family’s safety and provide a sense of ease for your student and his or her natural parents. As everyone works together, it’s important to stay in communication and act in a manner that is consistent with Federal, State, and Local authority guidelines. Thank you for your partnership. We are forever appreciative of each of you and your willingness to care for, protect, and guide our students.
Do’s and Don'ts - COVID-19 Response
- Stay home
- When going out for Essential Needs - Practice Social Distancing of at least 6 feet
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- If soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Shake hands
- Have guests or visitors over to your home
- Touch your face
- Go to the doctor if you aren’t sick
- Stockpile masks or gloves
Center for Disease Control and Additional Resources
Because the situation is constantly changing, it’s necessary for host families to keep up to date regarding their particular local, county, and state requirements. Host Families can find the following websites as helpful resources:
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
For California State residents: https://covid19.ca.gov/
LA County - Safer At Home public health order: https://lacounty.gov/covid19/
San Francisco County and City: https://sf.gov/topics/coronavirus-covid-19
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/