Planning Your Summer Homestay for International Students | Dear Angela

Dear Angela,

Summer is supposed to be a time for students to have fun and enjoy new experiences. How do the students feel about summer homestay? How can I, as a host, make the best summer for my international students? I want to make sure my student doesn’t think they are missing out on anything!


Concerned Host Family

Dear Concerned Host Family,

Yes! Summer can bring all different types of emotions to our international students. For starters, it is a moment of relief! They just have completed another year of school, made it through their SAT and AP exams, and accomplished another year living away from their home country. That can be exhausting! Summer can provide them with the rest they need. For the international students not returning home for the summer and are enrolled in our Summer Homestay program, that can also bring another level of emotion. It is another period of time without seeing their family and being around their culture. These feelings can cause loneliness, unwanted thoughts, and lack of motivation. However, there are ways as a community we can help support our students to instill that their summer will be fun and intentional.

Take a look at these ideas to get your summer started!

10 Ways to Keep Summer Fun and Intentional:

  1. Plan trips to a local park, beach, or hiking trail to bring a different environment. A change in environment can help students not feel like they are stuck in one place all summer.
  2. Plant a garden. This is an excellent skill-building activity. If you have room, let your students plant fruit trees, vegetables, or flowers. For smaller spaces, many of these can even be grown in containers! Let them get involved in choosing the plant and let them be responsible for weeding, watering, and other maintenance.
  3. Have a family cook-off: Bake cookies and other desserts, pizza, or even homemade ice cream together at home.
  4. Attend fun local fairs and festivals.
  5. Rock Painting! This can be a two-part event. The first could be going outside and finding rocks around the house or park; that would be a great canvas. The second is bringing them home and painting fun designs on them. Art can be a great way to help students express themselves when they don’t know how to!
  6. Start a hobby together! This can be from a range of many things. The main point of this is that it is something that you and the students do TOGETHER. Some examples are; puzzles, bike riding, starting a tv series, etc. This allows scheduled time together and something you both look forward to doing.
  7. Try new food! Make a night or a day trip to finding and trying fresh food either out in your community or cooking in your own kitchen!
  8. Have a picnic! Pack up your lunch and bring it outside on a blanket or simply on an outside table.
  9. Invite their friends! If the student has any friends in the area, invite them to some of your family events. This allows them to bring people into their homes do things with different people.
  10. S’mores! Have a bonfire in your backyard!

Now, I understand that on the surface, fun and intentional seems like a lot of work! Which it can be, but it is really important to understand what your students likes, wants, and what works for your family. The main point is for your family to spend time together, get outside, and make memories. Hopefully, your international student will join in on the fun and get to experience summer with a new perspective! If you have any troubles getting participation, reach out to your SDM for help and encouragement!

We hope these tips and ideas will help!

We hope you have a great summer!



Check out our homestay blog for more information on Cambridge Network as a residential provider, tips for hosting, and our host testimonials. If you’re interested in hosting an international student, please fill out an inquiry form!

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