Homestay Hosting

As a WorldChicago homestay host, you are able to build lifelong international relationships and deepen cross-cultural understanding for your family, the Chicago community, and the world. By opening your home to global guests, you are allowing the world to learn about American culture and the daily life of everyday Chicagoans.

WorldChicago Homestay Host

Become a WorldChicago Homestay Host and help your family to experience the diversity of the world firsthand.

If you are interested in becoming a WorldChicago Homestay Host, please fill out the following form.

WorldChicago homestay hosting offers Chicago families, of all shapes and sizes, the opportunity to share American life and culture with people from around the globe.

With each visitor that we welcome, you will learn about the diverse traditions and customs of guests, who are current high school students or young professionals, through shared meals, cross-cultural conversations, and everyday adventures.

Homestay host families consist of couples with children, single parents with children, single women, single men (this option is not available for single female students), and retired hosts. Some hosts live in homes, others live in apartments.

All international visitors will participate in day-long programming with WorldChicago, that will allow homestay host to keep their regular schedules.

Possible homestay host activities include sharing meals with visitors, showing visitors around your Chicago neighborhood, helping to create a positive and fun American experience, and much more.

Questions? Reach out to Megan Spillman, Director of International Exchanges at or find out more in the FAQ section below.

Benefits of Homestay Hosting

Bring the World to your Family

As a family, single adult, couple, or any other everyday Chicagoan that welcomes global guests into your home, you create opportunities for you and your community, especially the children, to learn more about the world and the diverse people, cultures, and stories that create it. This is a wonderful way to teach understanding and acceptance for the next generation and practice it for the older generation.

Enrich your Community

By opening your home to WorldChicago's international visitors you bring a new perspective, a new culture, and an unique story that helps your community build acceptance and engage in new and diverse thinking.

Build Global Relationships

There is no better way to learn about someone else than through one-on-one conversation. Share the stories that go beyond a first encounter and build a foundation for lifelong friendship from the unique experience of becoming a homestay host.

This group was given such an amazing opportunity and, as a host family who was able to get to know them—so were we. Every night when we sat down for dinner, our world was made a little bit bigger by their experiences of the day.

Dova, Homestay Host for Youth Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my fellows daily schedule?

Professional fellows are scheduled from approximately 9-5 pm Monday through Friday in their fellowships or additional meetings, workshops, or trainings. Cultural activities may be planned for the fellows on some evenings and weekends. As a host, you will receive a detailed schedule of the daily program, so you will be able to know when they are starting or finishing their day. Sunday is usually reserved to spend together with homestay hosts. If you cannot be home for any reason, WorldChicago will arrange an activity for the fellow or provide suggested activities. The free day is anything you and your international visitor want it to be. Shopping is often high on their list, but so is meeting other family and friends at gatherings. It's all about experiencing America.

Do I need to prepare food for my guest?

You will be expected to provide breakfast daily and most dinners. Each family is different but usually we ask that you have something in the refrigerator for them to have when they get home from meetings. If you have a special time when you eat as a family, please tell your delegate and they will arrange to join you at those times.

Will I receive stipend for hosting?

For certain programs, WorldChicago is authorized to provide a small stipend to help defray some of the costs of hosting. This is not intended to cover all of your costs, but as a thank you. Please contact the staff person associated with the project for complete details.

Will I need to provide rides for my guest?

WorldChicago provides fellows with CTA and/or Metra Cards and we teach
them to use public transportation to commute to and from your home and our downtown office.

Will my guest possess insurance?

Program participants are provided with health insurance from U.S Department of State or program sponsor for the duration of their time in the United States.

Will my fellow possess English language proficiency?

We receive a profile about each fellow that describes their English language skills. Most fellows come with some English language skills, but others only speak their native language, depending on the program. We have placed delegates in homes where there was no common language only dictionaries and sign language- and we have had hosts report that it can be a challenge, but not an obstacle to enjoying their hosting experience. WorldChicago will give you phone numbers of interpreters that will be available 24 hours a day for any incidental communication and emergency situations.

Homestay Hosting Experiences