Frequently Asked Question

A. Homestay is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a host) and a visiting student. The student lives for an agreed period of time as a guest in your home.
A. Hosting an international student allows people the opportunity to play a powerful role model to a young person, be part of an international student’s journey to cultural immersion in another country, and make a long-term personal relationships. Hosting allows people to gain deeper understanding of human values that unite people across the globe.
A. As a host you would generally be required to provide the student with all their basic needs, including their own room, food and space to study. Over the period of their time together, the host assists the student to become familiar with the local area and customs in a relaxed and friendly household setting. The student is also encouraged to share with the host information about their home country and culture. This interaction is what makes homestay ideal for students and hosts looking for a unique cultural experience.
A. Click the “Sign up” button on the top. Once you have filled in all the required information of the application form, an email will be sent to your nominated email address. If you have filled out the PDF version of our application, please attach it and send it to or fax it to us to (424)271-9938, or send to 21171 S. Western Ave. Suite 2703 Torrance CA 90501
A. In the final stage of the application, an interview will take place where a BHI student housing coordinator will visit your home to meet you, inspect the nominated student’s room and the home environment. This visit will provide you with the opportunity to meet your BHI student housing coordinator and discuss further your expectations.
A. BHI host families come from a variety of backgrounds that represent the diverse population of the United States. We welcome single people, families, and retired people to apply to our program. Our first priority is that our hosts provide a safe, caring, and supportive home to their students and their goal for hosting is not to supplement their existing income.
  1. 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) no fast food, and dinner time should be discussed to where the host’s family and the student can sit together and converse.
  2. A safe, supportive, and stable home
  3. Help with getting acclimated to American culture
  4. A private bedroom suitable for sleeping and studying. Adequate lighting in the bedroom.
  5. A wireless internet connection
  6. English is the primary or the only language used at home.
  7. Flexibility, patience, and kindness
A. Most of our students are college aged (over 18) and it is very rare to have students with other nationalities.
A. No, you are not required to, but it would be appreciated if you can provide transportation if they missed their bus. We make sure that our students reside within a 60-minute bus/train ride from their host home to their schools.
A. The BHI students arrive all through out the year.
A. BHI offers a wide range of programs that include a quarter based university program, language school program (average of 2-3 month) short-term programs (2-3 weeks) and more. Your preference will be respected.
A. We only work with Japanese international students, therefore we prefer not to house more than one student per household to prevent them from using Japanese to each other.
A. Yes, all students will have medical insurance at the time of arrival. Please ask the student to take a copy of the insurance card if needed.
A. Yes, all BHI host families are paid according to where they live. We will bring the check on the first day when we drop the student off. If the period exceeds over 4 weeks, we will give you the check for the first 4 weeks, and we will send you the next after each period.
A. Yes, tax law requires that BHI issues a 1099 form to all families at the end of the tax year. Please consult your financial adviser, tax accountant, or tax attorney about the proper treatment of this compensation and/or if there are ways to offset/net the additional income with expenses incurred by hosting.
A. Yes hosts typically see an increase in their food bills and utilities. Please keep this in mind.
A. Prepare the student’s room with fresh bed linens and towels and make sure the room is properly aired. If it is hot, provide a fan. Purchase enough food for the first day.
A. Be available to greet your student and organize to be home for the day or have a family member stay with the student. Don’t greet the student, tell them to “help themselves” and go to work. Students are young people, often away from home for the first time. They are nervous and have traveled for many hours. Even if they sleep they should not be left alone. Treat them as you would like your own family to be treated if they were traveling overseas. Ask them if they are hungry, and if they would like to take a shower. Later in the day, take the opportunity to give a small tour around the house, explain your house rules and mealtimes, and introduce them to other family members.
A. The first week is very important for the student and the host. The student is completely new to the environment, so the host’s support is very important. Please make sure the student knows where to get on the bus and the way to their schools before Monday when it starts. If the student needs a bank account, please assist them through the process. If the student purchased a prepaid phone, exchange contact, and provide emergency contact information.
A. If you are taking a student out, explain where you are going and how much it will cost. Your student then has the opportunity to decide whether or not to go with you. Do not expect your student to pay for other members of the family.
A. Privacy is important. The student’s room should be private to them during their stay with you. If you need to go in the room, let the student know beforehand.
A. This is your own decision. Be prepared for the fact that the parents may not speak any English. It is okay to say “no” and ask that they stay in a motel nearby. You can then make arrangements to meet them or invite them to your home. If you agree to them staying and you plan to charge them, make it clear to the student how much this will be and what it will cover.

If you’re interested in signing up, please go to “Sign Up” page.

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Brighter Horizon International

21171 S. Western Ave. Suite 2703
Torrance, CA 90501

Toll Free Number: 888-985-2072
Office Main: 424-271-9908
Tax: 424-271-9938

Operation hours: 10:00 - 18:00 M-F