Host Family Placements

Living with a family in the host community is one of the best opportunities for learning how to work and relate effectively across the borders of culture, class, creed, and language. The family is a microcosm of the larger society. In its daily routines, cultural expressions, role relations, and communication styles, the family affords guests a fascinating “window” into the lived reality of another cultural group.

All participants in the L.A. Term stay with local families, and it proves to be one of the most rewarding experiences of the program. Through the home stay, students become an authentic part of the local community as they participate in the routines and relationships of their hosts. Attending family birthday parties and children's baseball games, and sharing meals together becomes a natural part of everyday life.

The L.A. Term staff secures host families primarily through referrals, local churches, and schools. Students may also be placed in a single-parent, extended-family, or multiple-family home.

Host families are given the following guidelines when hosting a student:

  • Provide three adequate meals a day, seven days a week, and discuss food options with the student when necessary. Host families must discuss any dietary restrictions and food allergies and make any appropriate adjustments to meal planning and preparation.
  • Provide a private room for the student with adequate access to basic house amenities. Provide space for sleeping and storage of personal items.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to engage in regular family life and culture.
  • Live within a 10-mile radius of the Los Angeles Regional Center, where the student attends classes.

Families who are interested in hosting a student must go through an application and selection process where program staff examine the family’s residence and facilities, contact their personal and professional references, and interview the applicants in order to ensure a supportive living context.