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Mark's Homestay is a standards-based homestay and student services provider whose mission is to connect international students to positive, unique, and life-changing cultural experiences that challenge them to grow holistically as individuals.
What we do?
Mark's Homestay offers the following support services for our international students:
- Host family matching (short and long term homestays)
- Cultural Tours & Excursions:
- Airport Pick-up/Drop-off
- Transitional Services
- Opening a bank account
- Obtaining a Driver's license
- Buying a car
- Shopping Trips: food, clothing, and miscellaneous
- Fun Activities
- Movie Nights
- Game Nights
- Sports games
- English Language Tutoring
- Conversation tables
- English Partner
- Immigration Advising (F-1/J-1 Visas)
Mark Leech, owner, started Mark's Homestay, LLC, in October 2011 for three reasons:
- To meet the growing demand for a professional, standards-based homestays in the Metro-Atlanta and the U.S.
- To provide international students unique opportunities to authentically experience American culture.
- To assist international students in their transition to American life by providing practical support services.
Mark's Homestay has spent countless hours locating quality host families, creating dynamic cultural programming and support services, and designing a sophisticated website matching service to help international students find safe, affordable, and convenient housing with caring American families and transition into American culture. International students face many obstacles to finding quality housing from abroad:
- Unfamiliarity with Atlanta neighborhoods
- Higher deposits charged by landlords for lack of credit history/SSN
- Online scams through free â€š â€œapartment finder" sites
- Language and cultural barriers
- Lack of adequate transportation
Mark's Homestay overcomes these barriers for students so they can live, learn, and experience American culture. Our homestays, unique cultural programming, and support services exist to accomplish this mission.
Mark's Homestay, LLC is a licensed Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) with the State of Georgia and will be aggressively expanding into new markets across the U.S in 2013 and 2014 bringing quality, standards-based homestays on a national level.
Learn more about Mark, the creator and sole owner of Mark's Homestay, LLC.
Hello! I am Mark Leech, the founder and owner of Mark's Homestay, LLC!
I started my company in September 2012 and launched my website in June 2013 to meet the growing need for quality homestays in the Atlanta and to connect internationals to unique and authentic cultural experiences. As an international student immigration advisor for the past 3 years at two local universities, I watched international students struggle to find quality housing opportunities and connect with American society. I personally know how invaluable the homestay experience is to language development and personal growth because I have participated in international homestays in Mexico and Nicaragua. Even today, I stay with local families when I travel. My passion in life is to change peoples' lives by opening doors to new cultural experiences.
This passion and my business is the culmination of several life-changing experiences. I grew up in small-town Tennessee where I spent the majority of my youth playing sports, traversing the outdoors, and listening to music. In 2003, I obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Secondary Education-Social Sciences and three years later, a Masters of Art in Higher Education Administration from The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). After graduation, I traveled outside the U.S. for the first time in my life, visiting Germany to watch the World Cup 2006. Upon returning home, I traveled to Costa Rica for four months to study Spanish and travel in Central America. During this brief stay, I participated in my first homestay while traveling to neighboring Nicaragua to study Spanish at a local language school. I was amazed at how dramatically two weeks in a local school and homestay improved my Spanish language skills. Moreover, I was fascinated to see how a family in another culture interacted with each other. In 2006, I lived with a Nicaraguan family for four months while conducting research on ecotourism for a Master's thesis in International Studies. Following my thesis work, I worked as a student intern for three months with the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. These experiences led me to Atlanta in April 2010 where I worked as an International Student Advisor with Georgia State University's International Office for two years. Since July 2012, I have worked for Mercer University-Atlanta as the Assistant Director of International Education and the English Language Institute. I have over 4 years experience advising international students on immigration, cultural adjustment, and career development. When you choose Mark's Homestay as your provider, you are getting an experienced company that understands international student needs and knows how to deliver a quality homestay experience.