Recruit Group Homestays

  • Help bring the experience of a lifetime to high school students in your country.

  • Overview

    Group Homestay Programs are an ideal way for students aged 13 to 17 to discover American culture and create memories with their peers. Each program can be specially designed to meet the needs of your organization or school group, and can be arranged for any time throughout the year.

    Dynamic English language and American culture classes provide opportunities for participants to improve their English skills in an informal environment, while homestays with American host families complete the cultural immersion. Various destinations are available, each offering a unique array of exciting excursions and activities. You may send 10 to 20 students and one to two adult leaders per group, and groups can be arranged from 10 days to up to three weeks.

    Whether you are hiking in the mountains of Colorado, exploring caves in Kentucky, or taking in the big city excitement of New York and Philadelphia, a Greenheart Exchange Group Homestay Program is sure to be a memorable experience.

  • Participant Requirements

    Participant Requirements:

    • Must be 13 to 17 years old*
    • Possess intermediate English skills (minimum two years’ English study)
    • Display a genuine interest in English language and American culture
    • Willing to become a member of an American family
    • Agree to accept the host family assigned to them by Greenheart Exchange
    • Complete a Greenheart Exchange application, including a letter to the potential host family with pictures
    • Sign and abide by the Greenheart Exchange Conditions of Participation

    *Participants outside of this age range may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • What's Included

    What Is Included in a typical Group Homestay Program with Greenheart?

    • Room and board with volunteer American host families
    • Transfer to and from nearest airport
    • Support letter for tourist visa (if required)
    • Certificate of completion, upon request
    • Full- or half-day excursions one to three times per week
    • Welcome and farewell parties
    • 12 hours of English language and American culture classes per week with certified ESL teachers, and all necessary materials (alternate programming is available)
    • One Greenheart volunteer activity with an environmental or social service project
    • Activity coordination, orientation, transportation, and support of a Greenheart Exchange Local Coordinator

    What Is Not Included?

    • Airfare
    • Pocket money for personal expenses
  • Destinations

    Our partners are able to choose a region for the program, and we will do our best to accommodate the request. With enough advanced notice (i.e. typically 4-5 months) we are more likely to be able to accommodate very specific geographical requests. Popular destinations we offer include suburbs in the following regions:

    • Boston Area ( Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire)
    • Upstate New York (trip to New York City available)
    • Washington, D.C. (Maryland and Virginia)
    • Philadelphia Area (including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware)
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Portland, Oregon
    • Northern and Southern California
    • Atlanta, Georgia
    • Denver, Colorado
    • Texas (including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas)
    • Phoenix, Arizona
    • Orlando, Florida
  • Sample Itinerary

    While each program has its own unique schedule, check out an example of the schedule here.

    If you wanted to see what the various for our Group Homestay Program, check out these destination packets.

  • Why Choose Greenheart

    • 30 years of experience facilitating cultural exchange programs in the U.S. that connect Americans with international students.
    • We are the leading nonprofit cultural exchange sponsor that blends service learning and volunteerism into all of our
    • programs, creating a community of compassionate and conscious global citizens.
    • We are committed to the safety and well-being of our participants; due to our rigorous standards, Greenheart Exchange is listed by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) since 1990, is designated by the Department of State to offer J-1 programs, and is a member of the Alliance for International Education and World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE Travel Confederation).
    • English classes are taught by certified, native English speakers with a focus on practical communication.
    • Offer programs throughout the U.S., and can customize them to include visits to major cities, universities, or
    • points of interests.
    • 24-hour emergency support from our National Office
    • Supply certificates of completion for all programs, upon request
  • Partner Responsibilities

    Responsibilities of All Sending Partners
    • Identifying suitable candidates for Greenheart Exchange programs (program requirements differ)
    • Providing interested candidates with program information and application materials
    • Screening for English language proficiency
    • Verifying and checking all applications
    • Submitting complete applications to Greenheart Exchange for review and processing
    • Communicating directly with applicants during the application process
    • Assisting participants in obtaining the necessary visa from the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate; assisting with making travel arrangements
    • Conducting pre-departure orientation
    • Serve as home-country contact in the event of an emergency
    • Maintaining regular hours, checking email daily and furnishing Greenheart Exchange with updated contact information
  • FAQs

    When are Group Homestay programs offered?
    • We organize group homestay programs throughout the year. However, we very rarely organize group homestay programs the last two weeks of December through the first few days of January because of the difficulty in finding host families over this holiday period. Note that partners who desire one or more school visits as part of the program generally must send the group between September and November, or January – April.
    How long are group homestay programs?

    10 days – 3 weeks

    What are the types of group homestay programs?
    • Class-Activity: Include ESL/American culture classes and excursions most weekdays
    • Taste of American High School: Include 2 to 4 visits to an American high school and 2 or more excursions
    • Immersion: Typically includes 1 or fewer weekly excursions; most of the time is spent with host families
    • Customized: May include a combination of the above types or include a specific focus such as volunteering, University visits, or a specific sport or activity

    Note: All of the above programs include homestay placements with a host family; one or more group volunteer projects; and a welcome and/or farewell party.

    Can I choose the location of the Group Homestay program?

    Our partners may choose a region for the program and we will do our best to accommodate the request. The airport will be confirmed in the partner contract but the exact community is subject to change. Note that programs generally take place in suburbs or rural areas outside of a major city.

    For example, the “Boston area” program may take place in a community up to 3 hours from Boston, but would include airport transfers to/from Boston airport as well as one or more excursion days into Boston. We encourage our partners to be open to location to find the best fit. For partners open to location, once we know the dates and content requests for a particular group we will propose one or more available destinations that could best accommodate.

    What ages are Group Homestay programs suitable for?

    Typically we work with students ages 13 – 17 on Group Homestay Programs. We also occasionally accept groups with older participants.

    What is the minimum and maximum number of participants for a Group Homestay?

    Generally groups must have a minimum of 10 students and maximum of 20 but we can consider other requests on a case-by-case basis. Partners may send 1 to 2 adult leaders to chaperone the group. Occasionally we have opportunities for partners to send 1 or more individual students to join an existing group program, without a chaperone.

    How far in advance must a group be confirmed?

    We require a signed contract and deposit at least 4 months before the program start date. For summer groups we encourage partners to secure programs by February or earlier because of the popularity of that time period.

    How much do group programs cost?

    Please complete a partner inquiry to be considered for partnership with Greenheart and indicate your interest in Group Homestay Programs. After initial screening we can provide pricing information.

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