Will the student live in my home?
No. Students are full-time boarding students at Pennington and have their own housing. We ask that host families invite their host student to join them periodically for a holiday, family event, or a weekend. Families are not obligated to host overnight; however, if you choose to invite your student for an overnight, that is perfectly welcome and appreciated.
Is the host family the same thing as a guardian?
No. Guardians are individuals living in the United States who serve as the emergency contact for the School and are the point of contact between the family living in another country and the student living at school. Guardians act on behalf of the student’s parents and are authorized to sign documents for the student or deal with any issues about student performance. Host families do not have these responsibilities as they are serving as a friend to the student to acclimate them to family life in the USA.
What are a host family’s responsibilities?
The simple answer is that host families keep in touch with their students to help them feel welcome and transition successfully to life in the USA. We ask that families be supportive of the students who are far from home and that they invite them to get together at various points during the course of the academic year. The School will provide some key dates and suggestions, but the host family ultimately makes the schedule.
How does the School match hosts with students?
We do our best to match according to grade, interests, and gender. Although we do not always pair boys with boys or girls with girls, we do our very best to match up students who have similar interests. Host families will have the option to host the same student for the duration of their careers at Pennington.
What if a match doesn’t work?
If a match doesn’t work, we ask that the student and/or the host family contact the Director of International Student Services in order to make other arrangements.
May a family host more than one student, and may we request specific students?
What are the financial responsibilities of becoming a host?
It is not necessary for a host family to spend money. Home-cooked meals, time off-campus, and conversation with an American family are the greatest opportunities for our international students. Students have spending accounts, so if the host family wants to take the student to a museum or a movie, the student would be able to pay his or her own way. Host families are permitted to cover expenses; however, this is not an expectation.