What’s in Cambridge Network’s Host Family Agreement? | Hosting an International Student

Who really reads ten pages of legalese anyway? Well, Cambridge Network really hopes our host families have read all our Host Family Agreement. In our agreement, a lot of valuable hosting-related information is covered, but we recognize it’s probably hard to remember all of it. So, we want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the portions that support our host families and international students!

Review house rules with your student within 72 hours of their arrival.

After a long flight and exciting introduction to a new country, it’s understood that the last thing your international student will want when they walk in the door is a checklist of chores and rules. However, once you have given your international student a chance to settle in and recover from their jet lag, we encourage our host families to sit down and have a conversation with their international student about your home and expectations.

The Host Family Agreement cites specific examples, such as a student’s personal belongings being strewn around your common areas or bathroom etiquette communication, that are great topics to cover during this chat. Establishing these rules within the first couple of days of a student moving in will ensure a great experience for both our hosts and students further down the road.

What is considered a “meal” for international students?

The Host Family Agreement states that three meals must be provided to the student per day. Some instances allow for the student to self-prepare with food provided by the host family, and leftovers are also acceptable on a limited basis. Cambridge Network does require a hot dinner is always provided, and we hope that these family mealtimes will further relationships between our host families and international students.

The Host Family Agreement uses the word meal to mean something the whole family eats together. So, it’s not required that our students receive a separate meal plan tailored to their every request. However, we encourage hosts to involve the student in meal planning if they show interest, as this is another way to build your relationship!

30 Days is the Magic Number!

The Host Family Agreement requires our Host Families to inform Cambridge Network of any international student or host plans to be away from home 30 days in advance. This allows for your local coordinator to provide any support you might need to prepare for the trip.  Specifically, some students’ travel plans require paperwork to be filed, so 30 days’ notice will help avoid a cumbersome rush of paperwork. Alternatively, if someone needs to watch the student while you are away, it gives your representative ample time to find support within your local community.  Respite care providers are available to take in students for short stays while you are away. However, they will also receive the pro-rated stipend for those nights of that month.

On the subject of giving advanced notice, there is also a rule in the contract stating Cambridge Network needs to be notified 30 days for any houseguests staying in the home. If your houseguest is staying in your home for more than 30 days, a background screening is required. However, if you have a domestic partner, friend, or another family member who doesn’t (but might as well!) stay for 30 consecutive days, we recommend getting them screened! If the individual is not screened, they are not permitted to drive the international student or care for the student when you are not around. So instead of worrying about whether you will be home to supervise everyone, it’s safer to get a screening done and out of the way!

We appreciate all our Host Families do for our students and strive to support the family unit as best as we can. If you have any questions about your Host Family Agreement or would like to see a copy, please feel free to reach out to your Student Development Manager or [email protected].

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