Homestay in Orlando, Florida
Homestay International Referral Program Frequently Asked Questions
(Last edited 2018-10-16)
What kind of organization is Homestay International?
Homestay International is a part of Mission To Japan (see www.MissionToJapan.org), which works with Protestant Churches in the U.S. from a variety of denominations (Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, non-denominational, etc....). We're located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. Our desire is to expose Japanese youth to Christianity and offer a great 3 ~ 4 week homestay program in the U.S. (Orlando, Florida) that they'll love even if they are not interested in the Christian aspect (but we hope they will be!). All our host families are volunteer Christian families. We make it a point to explain to potential Japanese participants that all our host families are Christians, that we have an introduction to the Bible course, but that we never put pressure on anyone to become a Christian. Most students who join our homestay programs are not Christians but enjoy the class about Christianity if only from a cultural point of view.
Who is eligible to sign up to receive commissions?
Christian English teachers who live in Japan and who are native English speakers are eligible to sign up. The homestay program is for Japanese students ages 17 ~ 24, so it's best if you have access to students around that age. But you can also recommend the program to younger students (say 15 and up) who can look forward to joining after turning 17. You can also recommend the program to any Japanese people who know Japanese students between the ages of 17 ~ 24. For example, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles of Japanese students might want their child, grandchild, niece or nephew to have the experience of a homestay program abroad and be exposed to the Christian message.
How much commission can I make referring this homestay program?
You receive 5% commission for each student who joins one of our homestay programs over either spring break, summer break or winter break. The current pricing for 2018/2019 is 300,000 yen for the spring and summer programs (1 month), and 250,000 yen for the winter program (3 weeks). The 5% commission would be 15,000 yen (spring or summer homestay) and 12,500 yen (winter homestay). If students join part of the program, they might pay a prorated amount which would affect the commission.
How will I get credit for students I've recommended?
When students sign up to join one of our homestay programs, we ask them how they heard about it and who informed them. If they put your name, we'll know to give you credit. As a safeguard, you can also send us the name(s) of students you've recommended.
How and when will I get paid?
Payments will be paid out by our Japanese bank to your account through the common "furikomi" that Japanese people use to pay bills. This way, you won' t have any transaction fees. If you don't have a Japanese bank account, we can use any other method you like such as Paypal but you would have to incur any transaction fees. We will send payment within a week after the student completes the program.
What kind of students are eligible to join Homestay International programs ?
We accept college students who are in good physical and mental health, are courteous and polite, and have a desire to use their English in the context of a host family home. We also accept high school students from age 17 who have at least jun 2 kyu English level and can pass a simple Skype interview in English. Generally we accept students or young adults between the ages of about 17 ~ 24. We won't accept any student if we feel he/she would be a problem or challenge for a host family.
Can a student join part of the program?
We highly recommend that students join the whole program. However, if a student has a conflict and has to come a few days late or return a few days earlier, we can usually still accommodate him. When a students can't join the whole program, we usually give a discount to the student. This would affect the referral commission as the commission is based on a percentage of the program fee.
How can I maximize referrals ?
The more you know about Homestay International, the more confidence you'll have in recommending it to others. Therefore, we encourage to you learn about the programs (see www.homestay.us/english for more details about each program). Feel free to ask us questions (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you don't find the answer here.
Another way you can maximize referrals, is to be on the look out not only for students who might be interested in joining, but also for English schools or other English teachers which might be able to recommend the program to their students. In addition, some of your students or people you know, while not students themselves, might have a brother, a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, a grandson or granddaughter, etc... who might be interested in a one-month homestay abroad program. You could also let your church or pastor in Japan know about this program.
What makes Homestay International so special?
There are many homestay programs but what's unique about our programs is that we recruit American high school and college students to accompany the Japanese students on their outings. For our March and August programs, there is a five-day, four night beach retreat with American students that is always very popular and unique to Homestay International. We select and train special American students (all are Christians) to befriend the Japanese students. So not only do Japanese students build a relationship with their host family, but also with American students about their own age. Japanese students love this aspect of our program.
Another unique aspect of our homestay is that we include a class on Christianity. All our host families are volunteer Christians and we recruit them from solid Bible believing churches. Though most of our Japanese participants are not Christian and not necessarily interested in religion, they always enjoy this class as it is taught in a light hearted, fun manner. On their evaluations, students always indicate that they enjoyed learning about Christianity in America through this class. We inform prospective students about this aspect of our program before they sign up, and it is explained on our website too.
In addition, we work hard to find great host families and we check each one out carefully by visiting their homes and checking references. We have many host families who have hosted several times. We also have some of the best sightseeing in the world including Disney World (4 theme parks) and Universal Studios (two theme parks) and beautiful beaches. (Most programs go to at least 4 theme parks and sometimes host families take their student to others. Check the schedule for which theme parks and activities are included for each program at www.Homestay.us/english). In addition, we've been running this homestay program over 25 years and nothing beats experience. Finally, the director goes to Japan at least once a year to follow up with as many students as possible, and often brings groups of American students who have been involved with the program in Orlando. So the Japanese alumni often get to see some of their friends from America again in Japan.
Students fill out an evaluation of the program and we post their handwritten responses on our website for all to see. Students always have a positive experience.
Can I get some flyers to give out ?
Upon request, we will provide you with some nice color flyers for 10 yen per flyer to cover costs (30 flyers for 300 yen minimum order). But you can always refer students to our website (www.Homestay.us) for free for the most details and pictures.
What happens if a student joins a second time or brings friends?
Unfortunately we cannot give credit for a student after the first time he joins, nor if that student brings other friends (unless you directly recommended the program to those friends).
What happens if I recommend this program to someone who joins a long time later ?
We will do our best to credit you and send you payment. We keep a database of names to help us keep track even if your student joins a year or two after you recommended the program.
What if you change your policies?
We might modify and improve our program and policies from time to time. Check back here from time to time for modifications. Make sure you inform us if you change your email address as we might also communicate with you through email. Please white-list our main email address: email@example.com.
Contact Warren Griffith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sign up to start referring students by filling out this form. It's free to sign up!
Below, one of the churches where we hold English classes (Northland Church).