Lower Columbia College | Host Family FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions about Host Families

Who is eligible to be an LCC International Programs host family?

There is no typical host family. Families come from all walks of life and all are welcome to apply. Families may have children at home, be empty-nesters with adult children, be single adults or single parents, or couples with no children.

Families shouldn't worry about being too busy! The more opportunity an LCC international student has to experience American life, the better. LCC provides many opportunities for your student to participate in clubs, organizations, activities, and field trips throughout the school year.

What is required of a host family?

As a host family, you will provide your student with:

  • A private room with a bed, place to study, storage area, and Internet/Wifi access.
  • Two healthy meals per day, including breakfast and dinner with the family
  • Transportation to and from the college, which may include a reasonable commute by bus, bike, or by walking
  • The care, support, and comfort you would give to a member of your family

Are host families paid?

LCC host families receive a $500 per month payment from their student, if they host for a quarter or more.  Short-term placements usually do not involve payment. But the experience is rewarding in many other ways!

Is there a host family contract?

To help families and students get to know one another, open communication and cultural sensitivity are very important. Host families and international students will talk about and agree to expectations, payment dates, and other items so that there is mutual understanding for everyone. An agreement template will be provided for you and your student to customize and sign. LCC International Programs staff are available to help with questions or concerns that families or students may have.

Who are International Programs students?

Just as there is no typical host family, there is no typical international student. LCC international students come from a variety of countries, including China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and others. They come from various walks of life and family structures in their native countries, and they generally demonstrate maturity and leadership as evidenced by their motivation to study abroad.

International students may range in age from about 16 to 20. Younger international students are typically seeking a dual-enrollment program, where they will take LCC classes to earn both their high school diploma and associate's degree at the same time. Almost all LCC international students plan to transfer to 4-year universities to complete bachelor's degrees.

International students are seeking unique and enriching experiences, both academically and culturally, and they want to participate in American family life. For many, going to a barbeque or cheering on a local sports team is a novelty and an experience they'll remember for years to come. As a host family, you will add a priceless dimension to the vision of America that your student takes home.

Do the students speak English?

All students have studied English in their home countries and will have varying levels of proficiency.  Students come to the U.S. with a desire to immerse themselves in the language and to improve their level of proficiency.

How long do students stay with host families?

CC International Programs seeks host families for one or two quarters, or for the academic year (September to June.)  We also seek short-term, holiday, vacation, or weekend host families.

Can families host more than one student?

Yes. Some host families decide hosting two is better than one and find the hosting experience is even more rewarding. Both the students and their parents must approve this arrangement, and private bedrooms are still required. It is preferable that international students in the same home speak different native languages to ensure that English remains the primary language they'll use in your home.

Do International Programs have rules for participants?

Yes. All students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct and to be aware of other student rights and responsibilities while they are enrolled at LCC. Information is provided in the LCC Student Handbook. Should a student violate one or more conditions of LCC International Programs or of the college, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Are host families responsible for enrolling their students at LCC?

No. Admission, assessment, advising, and registration of LCC international students will be managed by the staff and faculty of the college. However, host family involvement and support of their student’s academic success is important. Students will be learning a new language, a new culture, along with managing their school coursework. Together with host families, we will work in partnership to support the personal and academic success of each student.

Does International Programs conduct background checks?

Yes. The safety and welfare of LCC International Programs students is our highest priority.The background check for host families is an integral part of the application and screening process and helps us ensure that students will be placed in appropriate homes.

Where can I get more information?

To learn more about becoming a Host Family or becoming involved with LCC International Programs and services please Contact Us.