As a host family, you will be one of the most important components of your international student’s experience here. Grand Rapids Christian High School, partnering agencies, the sending parents, and the host family make up the team that serve together to direct the student’s education and provide Christian care. We will depend on your loving care, parental discernment, and professional communication.
Why do families open their homes to international students? There are many reasons. Some feel called by God to use their homes as a ministry and provide care for students who are far away from their own family. Others see it as a way to bring the world into their homes and learn about a different language and culture while sharing their own.
We are committed to providing good homes for our international students and matching them with families who will offer the best possible environment for them while they are here. Specifically, we are seeking families that will:
- provide a safe and happy home environment
- provide emotional and spiritual support
- foster regular connections with the school community and a church community
- support the student as he or she learns to adjust to American culture
- encourage the student to share culture, language, and traditions
- develop a meaningful relationship with the student as you would your own child
- uphold high expectations for academic work and social responsibility
- communicate meaningfully with the sending family, partnering agency, and school
- partner with other host families to provide a good support network
- Most of our international students are from China and are coming into 9th and 10th grade.
- Our students come with the intention of graduating from Grand Rapids Christian High School, however, your commitment to host would only be for one school year and you can choose to continue or not.
- We provide ongoing support services for host families including providing temporary hosts for a weekend or break if necessary.
- You can request a preference for a male or female student.
- Busing will be paid for by the sending family if it is necessary.
- You will receive a monthly stipend of $650 for 10 months to cover additional costs. All personal items are to be purchased by the student and if you plan to take a vacation the sending family will be requested to cover the student’s costs.
- You do not need to have a high school student of your own in order to host. If you do have a teenager at home we will place an international student of the same gender in your home.
- We encourage families to consider accepting two students to live with them if it suits their circumstances.
If you feel the call to become a host family to an international student, or would like to learn more, please complete the online Host Family Application.
- Joelle Williams, International Student Program Director
- Julie Watson, International Student Program Assistant