YES at Merced College has years of extensive experience coordinating homestay with international students, and helping to provide students with a safe and friendly experience of American
life. Currently, YES has over 60 host families available within a 3-mile area of the Merced College campus. In addition, YES offers an on-site office, where staff members conduct
thorough interview screenings of potential host family candidates, taking into account everything including the family member's personalities, as well as lifestyle habits that may affect
students. In addition, staff members visit the host family sites, to ensure safety and that the living arrangements are in close proximity to the college campus.
In addition to ensuring the suitability of each host family candidate, YES also does its best to match individual students to families, including taking into consideration any medical conditions
or allergies that a student may have. On-site Japanese staff are available to aid international students, and YES provides two-way support services, helping students to transition to American
life, as well as assisting host families with any questions or concerns. Some support services include helping students to understand important details and precautions of moving, counseling
about daily life concerns, and emergency assistance. YES at Merced College helps provide a greater sense of security to international students as well as their host families.
Advantages of Homestay for International Students
Whether for short-term or long-term stay, living with a local host family has many advantages for international students over living in an apartment. By living with a host family, students can learn about eating habits and holiday observances of American culture. Homestay allows students to experience American life first-hand, and cultivates an even greater appreciation for foreign culture. Another positive aspect of homestay in California is the diversity of the homestay families in California, which allows students with more opportunities to learn the nuances of spoken English. While the TOEIC and TOEFL exams both include listening segments, participating in a homestay environment allows students to go beyond the basics and learn to better distinguish American pronunciation and the diverse accents of English speakers. This is an essential skill for students hoping to use and understand English in an international setting.
The Lure of Apartment Living
It is sometimes the case that after adjusting to life in America, apartment-style living may become an appealing housing option to international students. However, homestay continues to offer many benefits over apartment-living, including much more frequent opportunities to interact with native English speakers. In addition, apartment-style living can make it difficult for students to focus on study. Concerns about meal planning, WiFi, and other factors of apartment living can all cause an even greater strain on the schedules of already busy students. Apartment-style living is also less safe, and often does not provide students with the support structure or moral centering of a home environment with a host family.
The Hidden Dangers of Private Homestay
In recent years, there has been a trend for some individuals to collect money from students directly for private homestay, for the purpose of gaining personal profit. Without the support of a
third party, students are placed at a much greater risk to be taken advantage of, and if problems arise, students do not have the protection of legal services to intermediate between the student
and host family. Working with a trustworthy homestay program helps to better ensure the safety of a student's study abroad experience, and if problems arise between a student and host family
regarding differences of opinion or the details of a legal agreement, the student can trust that program staff will do their utmost to protect the student's best interests, as well as assist the
student in worst case scenarios, such as lawsuits. Taking all of this into account, Y.E.S. seeks to be a bridge between host families and international students, protecting their mutual interests
and ensuring the highest quality of homestay experiences.
One Year Athletic Trainer Study Abroad Homestay Experience (by Yagami)
"I am very grateful for my experience living with my host family. They became like a real family to me, and I feel incredibly thankful to them. During my stay, if I had trouble my host family could advise me. I didn't have a lot of experience with life in America, but there was always someone close by to offer assistance. I think that thanks to my host family, I was able to spend my year of study abroad very comfortably."
4 Month MCELI Program Homestay Experience (by Morimoto)
"My host family was truly warm-hearted and caring. Whether attending church, doing chores, shopping, or horseback riding, if I were to list all of the things we did together, the list would be truly endless. Sometimes I invited my friends over to the house, and my host family extended to them the same kindness that they did toward me, as if my friends were their own sons. Living with a host family made learning English much less painstaking, and I was able to improve my English, as well as have a lot of opportunity to increase my listening skills. I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to participate as a member of such an incredible family."
Contact Us: To inquire about Homestay for international students, please click
Y.E.S. was responsible for securing homestay for 69 students in promotion of the Kakehashi Project through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.