San Jose is the Perfect Place to Host an Exchange Student and Here’s Why

Jun 17, 2019 11:32:11 PM

Streetlight with Downtown San Jose in background

Do you live in San Jose? Do you have a spare bedroom in your home? Do you want to host an exchange student?

In 2017-18 a record 1.1 million foreign exchange students chose to live and study in the United States, making it the most popular study abroad destination in the world.

San Jose is the heartbeat of California’s high-tech hub Silicon Valley. Outsiders may consider San Francisco synonymous with Silicon Valley, but locals know that (with the big three of Google, Apple, and Facebook) the epicenter is San Jose.

Look beyond the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and San Jose is a vibrant city of close-knit neighborhoods, enriching cultural scenes, beautiful nature escapes, and an abundance of delicious food.

San Jose is a cool, innovative city full of opportunities and high-quality living. It’s also the fastest growing economy in the U.S., is home to some outstanding schools, and provides a fantastic experience of American life for international students.

San Jose is the perfect city to host an exchange student and in this article, we’re going to explain why it’s unique, and how you can provide a home for an international student.

What is an Exchange Student Host Family?

Thanks to the record number of international students choosing to head over to the U.S., American families are hosting more international students than any other country.

If a household (which can be anything from a single adult to a family of 10!) has a spare bedroom, and a desire to experience something new, they could be ready to host an exchange student.


The benefits you can gain from hosting an international student can be many and may surprise you. Here are just a few of the benefits American households across the country are enjoying:

  • Extra monthly household income (which can be up to $1400/mo)
  • Deep friendships which last for a lifetime
  • Showcasing and sharing the best sights, culture, and experiences America has to offer
  • Learning about a new country (that they may not have expected)

Hosting a foreign exchange student can leave a lasting impression on your family, and more families across the U.S. are discovering the perks of opening their homes and lives.

If you want to learn more about hosting an exchange student in detail - we have created a ‘Complete Guide to Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student’. It has everything you need to know.

What Makes San Jose Great?

Lying 50 miles south of San Francisco, the flourishing center of tech is the 3rd largest city in California. Home to a highly ambitious and highly educated population that basks in year-round warmth and sunshine, San Jose has its own unique charm, attractions, and reasons to study abroad.

San Jose Plaza

Highly-Reputable School’s and College’s

When it comes to higher education, the California network of schools and colleges carries an excellent reputation nationally and internationally. San Jose sits in one of the most populous and affluent counties in the U.S., Santa Clara.

Even within the United States, when families choose to move to the Bay Area, one of the reasons is the exceptional schooling it offers for their children. There are over 1500 high schools in California, and some of the most highly regarded are located right here in Santa Clara:

High School Number of Students Avg. SAT Score
Los Altos High School 2,088 1340
Valley Christian School 686  1240
The King's Academy 955 1340
Moreau Catholic High School 851 1210
The Quarry Lane School 700 1370

The San Jose region is also home to some of the most reputable universities in California.

One of the most prestigious universities in California, Stanford University has become a breeding ground for students who aim to think big. Stanford has crafted the perfect balance between relaxed Californian attitudes (t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops are the norm), a vibrant social life, and educational success, where lucrative internships and exciting company partnerships await its many ambitious students.

Stanford University main quad

The interdisciplinary programs linking departments help students to work together, see a different perspective and discover new ideas, making it an ideal environment for exchange students.

Santa Clara University was ranked the best Regional University West for 2019. Located in Silicon Valley, it’s known for its excellent Center of Performing Arts, Leavey School of Business, and School of Law.

A bustling university, there are more than 100 student organizations on campus. The athletics facilities and teams have given Santa Clara a national reputation for excellence.

San Jose State University is the oldest public university on the west coast. With the tagline ‘Powering Silicon Valley’ more San Jose State alumni are hired by Silicon Valley than any other university. Outside of tech, San Jose State offers nearly 150 undergraduate majors for students to choose from.

Tech Hub

We’ve already mentioned a couple of times that San Jose is the epicenter for technology companies in the U.S. All the major players (Google, Apple, Facebook, etc) have their company headquarters here in Silicon Valley.

Apple headquarters

There are several tour companies which will take people around each of the headquarters. You can even visit Los Altos, the childhood home of Steve Jobs, where the first Apple computer was built in the garage.

The Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose is a fun, hands-on day out. It includes experiential learning exhibits such as Body Worlds Decoded, Cyber Detectives, Reboot Reality, and many more engaging experiences.

Nature Escapes

San Jose boasts a beautiful network of 60 miles of trails (walking, hiking, and biking) along with 285 miles of bike paths on the roads. It’s been commended as one of the healthiest cities in the U.S., and a leader in green commuting.

Alum Castle Rock

There are dozens of large outdoor spaces and parks providing peaceful escapes and activities for everybody. The Municipal Rose Garden is a 5.5-acre garden with over 4000 rose shrubs. Castle Rock State Park provides horseback riding, rock climbing, and more across a spectacular 5242 acres. The 740-acre Alum Rock Park is uniquely located within a canyon in the foothills of the Diablo Mountain Range.  

Creative Vibrance

San Jose is home to a vibrant and emerging art scene. The San Jose Museum of Art displays around 2500 modern and contemporary pieces of artwork.

In Downtown San Jose’s SoFA district you’ll find an array of art galleries, independent cafes, and boutiques with local artists performing or displaying their work. It also hosts a monthly South First Fridays Art Walk allowing artists and locals to mingle.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Western North America. The museum is heavily influenced by Egyptian architecture and the park is the only one of its kind. Consider it a must-see.


I Want to Host a Foreign Exchange Student

Choosing to host an exchange student is an exciting decision that can bring you and your family lifelong memories. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is how long you want to host a student for.

You may want to host a foreign exchange student short-term. In this case, Summer/Winter camp programs may be perfect. For longer term hosting, students studying for a semester or entire academic year may be ideal for you.

Some common questions you may want to consider are:

  • Which type of student do I want to host?
  • Is my family ready to host?
  • Is my home ready?
  • Do I want to host a male or female student?

We want to make the hosting process as smooth and seamless as possible from step one. To help you understand and prepare for the hosting process, we have prepared this ‘Complete Guide to Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student’. You’ll find all the essential information you need there.

Our Final Words

San Jose is a thriving city, growing and leading the way in many areas. And it has he perfect environment for an exchange student to study and get a taste of life in the USA.

At AmeriStudent, we offer a supportive, comprehensive, and industry-leading homestay service that has helped thousands of international students find a home. Our training and support systems separate us from other homestay services.


We also offer one of the most attractive payment rates for host families in the county. AmeriStudent will support you on every step of your hosting journey. If you have any more questions about hosting an exchange student, we would love to have a chat - 877-385-8425.

If you’re ready to begin the hosting process with us, fill out the application form today and we’ll get in touch with you.

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We are America's Favorite Homestay for Foreign Students!

Start your student homestay adventure with us today and find out why international student's from all over the world love AmeriStudent.

Our Student Packages