With the exception of students participating in camps on a college campus, all SPIRAL students live with local host families in order to more fully grasp American culture and family life. This encounter is a crucial part of the Chinese students’ stay in the US, and is a rich and rewarding experience for both the students and the host families.  Enduring connections have been forged between SPIRAL families and their visiting students, sometimes after even only a 2-week stay.

SPIRAL’s local representatives select host families carefully. Each potential host family is interviewed personally, they receive a home visit, and all adults living in the home submit to a background check (reimbursed by SPIRAL) before a student is placed with them. Every effort is made to match visiting students with families who have some prior international experience and similar interests to the visiting student.

Host families agree to include the student in family outings and to treat him/her as a member of the family during their stay. SPIRAL representatives are available to offer support to both the family and the student regarding cultural or language issues or other challenges which may arise during the student’s stay.

Host families receive a taxable stipend to cover living expenses for the student. All students have medical insurance, however, and are expected to pay for any necessary medical care as well as personal items such as clothes, cell phone, school supplies, club memberships, etc.

Click here to find out how to host.