When you come to America to learn English, we want to make sure you have a fun, safe, cultural experience. One of the most important aspects of learning a language is being immersed in the culture, which is why your host family experience is essential. Many language schools arrange contracted homestay for their students. They agree to be the “middle man” between students and their host families, but for a price. They charge a commission fee for this service and collect significant payments every month, only giving host families approximately 80-90% of the rent fee that students pay. Of course, this is not ideal for host families and it affects the students they are hosting. If a business does not pay its employees well, those employees will be less likely to work hard with integrity. Similarly, if host families are not paid well, they are less likely to offer a welcoming environment and a quality experience for students.
That is why at Optimus Language School, we try to be different. We are not concerned with squeezing profit out of students and host families. Instead, we focus on providing the best possible living situation for our students. When we place students in a homestay, we ask for a flat $200 placement fee from them. After that, they pay host families their monthly rent directly. Because we do not charge these families commission, we get a wider pool of candidates from which to choose. Host families know that working with OLS is a positive and rewarding experience. We build trust with them so that in return they can build trust with the students living with them. Additionally, the more these host families enjoy working with us, the more they will want to come back. As we continue to work with the same trusted families, they gain experience in how to provide for their guests and what we expect from homestay. Your family will be driving you to class, making meals to share with you, and helping you with whatever else you need. We only choose the very best homestay situations for our students because we care about their well-being.
Among our expectations for homestay families is the request that they get involved with our students’ education. Every Friday, students bring home a project to work on and present it the next Monday. We strongly recommend that host families read over their projects and give them feedback. We also advocate for dinner table conversation with them to help improve their speaking skills. Finally, students are encouraged to keep a daily journal to practice thinking and writing in English. We ask that homestay families read over students’ journals and help them when they need it. All of these expectations and more are listed in the guidelines that we give to our host families when we select them. If they do not agree to these guidelines, we will find another family who is willing to meet our expectations. Likewise, if our students are not happy with their living situation, we will kindly remove them from that homestay and find them a better placement.
Our students are placed in comfortable, clean homes with kind, native-speaking hosts who are excited to welcome them to our country. Unlike other language schools, we are happy to pay more to ensure trusting relationships with our homestay families. We hope you can see how much we care about providing our students with a quality living situation while they are here studying English. To find out more information, register for classes, or find a homestay - contact Optimus Language School today!
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