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Find a Homestay
Thank you for choosing a homestay as your first living option in the United States. Homestay is the best way to learn English and experience American culture. Live, Learn, and Experience American culture!
- Easy: Online host matching and payment
- Safe: 100% Criminal background checks
- 24/7 Emergency Support Line
- Affordable: Best homestay prices in Atlanta
- Flexible: You choose your homestay family and dates
We also offer the following services:
- Cultural Tours
- Airport Pick-up
- Nature Excursions
- Conversation Partners
- Weekly Social Activities
- College Admission Help
How it works
Finding a homestay is an easy 5-step process: Complete, Activate, and Choose
- Complete the online application
- Mark's Homestay will send you a basic host family profile for approval.
- Approve your homestay host family
- Mark's Homestay will send you an invoice for the the placement fee ($250) and one month's homestay fee.
- Pay the full invoice and receive your complete host family profile information.
Mark's Homestay will match you with a host family located close to your place of study. Your host family will provide you the following services:
- Single furnished bedroom with a bed, dresser, closet, desk, and lamp
- Bed linens and towels
- Cable access
- Meals (upon request)
- Help with bank account set-up, transportation, and public safety
The minimum required stay is 4 weeks, but if you are unhappy with your placement after 2 weeks, we will help you find a new homestay. Stays shorter than 4 weeks can be arranged by special request, premium rates may apply.
Our hosts will provide you with the following basic amenities:
- Private furnished room (bed, lamp and stand, desk, dresser or closet)
- Private or shared bath
- Bed-sheets, linens, and towels
- WiFi Internet
- Cable access (if available)
- Meals (upon request)
Mark's Homestay offers five pricing plans based on meal choice, location, and amenities. The rates listed below may not reflect the exact rate of your homestay as prices may vary depending location, amenities, transportation request, and meal choice. However, typically rates will reflect the below based rates. We will send you a suggested rate with the host profile. Please note that all prices do not include transportation costs except for our "Top Level Plan." We will calculate transportation price based on location.
No Meals, Basic Breakfast, Dinner Only, 2 Meals, and Top Level
Student responsible for all meals
Host provides grab-and-go breakfast
Host provides prepared dinner 5 times a week
Host provides grab & go breakfast and prepared dinner
Host provides breakfast & dinner 5 times a week, lunch & dinner on the weekend, transportation to/from school, and laundry services.
Meal Plan Descriptions:
Students are expected to provide and prepare their own meals each day.
Host will provide a basic continental breakfast, which may include such items as cereal, oatmeal, fruits, and drink (coffee, tea, milk, juice, water, etc).
Host will provide a prepared in-house dinner 5 times a week. Student is responsible for his or her breakfast and lunch and weekend meals.
Host will provide a basic grab-and-go continental breakfast as described above and prepare an in-house evening dinner for the student. The student is expected to prepare his or her own lunch each day and meals on the weekend.
Host will provide a basic breakfast and prepared dinner 5 times a week Monday through Friday (10 meals) and lunch & dinner on the weekend (4 meals). Host will also provide daily transportation assistance to or from school. Hosts offering transportation assistance may provide direct transportation to or from school directly via car or may provide transportation to/from a Marta Bus or Train station with a direct route to campus. See special note below regarding hosts requirements for transportation assistance. *Please note that Top Level service is available only on a limited basis with select hosts.
Customized Meal Plan Requests:
Mark's Homestay typically requires guests to choose a standard meal plan listed above, but in special cases we may honor customized meal plan requests if a host agrees in advance to the customized meal plan request (more or less meals, special dietary requests, or other). Customize meal plan requests may incur a higher homestay fee rate for the student.
Hosts offering transportation assistance may provide direct transportation to or from school directly via car OR may provide transportation to/from a Marta Bus/Train station with a direct route to campus or nearby campus. Although hosts will provide direct transportation assistance via car most days, students may be required to use the MARTA bus or train system for transportation to/from school some days due to the hosts work schedule or special circumstances. We requests students maintain flexibility in the transportation option. Hosts often also provide other forms of transportation assistance to/from the market and activities.
Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the answers to many common questions our students and visitors ask about their homestay host family, whom are referred to as "hosts" below. Mark's Homestay encourages you to review our Host and Student Guidelines, Policies, and Terms & Conditions for more details. If you have any addition questions please contact mark @ markshomestay.com.
- What is a Homestay?
A "Homestay" is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a "homestay host") and a visiting international student who is completely immersed in the language and culture of a local community through a shared living experience with a homestay host. The homestay host provides a basic furnished room, private or shared bath, internet/TV access, and meals. In return, the student pays a modest monthly "homestay fee," which is used to reimburse his or her host's daily expenses. A homestay allows the student to learn English while experiencing American culture.
- How does homestay work?
Homestay is a 5-step process:
- Complete your student application
- Mark's Homestay will send you a basic profile for approval.
- Approve your homestay host match.
- Mark's Homestay will send you an invoice for the the placement fee ($225) and one month's homestay fee.
- Pay the full invoice and receive your complete host family profile information.
Mark's Homestay will match you with a host family located close to your place of study. Your family will provide you a single furnished bedroom, private or shared bath, Internet, meals upon request, and assistance with getting settled in the community. You will pay the first four weeks of homestay fees prior to arrival or on the first day directly to Mark's Homestay.
- How many weeks do I have to participate in homestay?
The length of stay depends totally on your needs. Typically, we require an 4-week minimum. However, homestays shorter than 4 weeks can be arranged, but higher premium rates will apply.
- Will my homestay be close to my school?
Yes, MH tries to place each student in a homestay conveniently located to your school and public transportation within a 35 minute or less commute to your desired place of study. If you choose a homestay with a distance further away from your school, your homestay fee will be our standard, more affordable rate.
- How much does homestay cost?
Student pricing is based on the homestay distance from your school, meal plan choice, and amenities. We have three meal plans:
(1) No mealsÂ
(2) Breakfast only
(3) Dinner only.
(4) Two Meal. (5) Top Level (14 Meals + Transportation)
- How much does homestay cost?
We have some hosts willing to provide more meals and services such as full-service laundry and transportation. If you would like more than two meals or beyond our regular plans, you will be charged a higher homestay fee determined by Mark's Homestay.
About Homestay Host Families
- How does Mark's Homestay (MH) select host families?
Our homestay hosts go through a rigorous screening process that includes a detailed host family application, house visit and in-person interview, and a national criminal background check by a licensed provider. MH only selects hosts who have a heart for serving our students.
- Can I choose what type of homestay host I want?Single host or family host?
Yes, you can indicate your preference and we will do our best to find you a homestay match. However, we cannot guarantee your preference. We do encourage you to be open to the rich diverse American family unit. Our host families reflect America's rich diversity. Host families can be singles married couples, families with our without children, retirees, different races and nationalities. The single or family host options will provide you a unique immersion experience into American culture. Just have an open mind to the experience!
- Do you conduct criminal background checks on the homestay hosts?
Yes, all of our homestay hosts go through a national criminal background check before they can host.
- Can I change my homestay if I do not like my family?
Yes, MH allows one change at no cost after arrival to your host family as long as you request your change 2 weeks in advance.
- What rules do I have to follow in my homestay?
Mark's Homestay has Student and Host Guidelines that exist to ensure that both the student and homestay host have a positive homestay experience. Our guidelines are not comprehensive, but are designed to provide both the student and homestay host parameters for maintaining a respectable living environment. Your host may have more formal rules and regulations by which you must abide by during your stay. Please see our host and student guidelines for more detail.
Meal Plans & Extra Services
- Do I get a prepared meal every day of the week?
This depends on your meal plan choice. We have three basic meal plans to choose from: no meals, basic breakfast and 2 meals. Basic breakfast is a student-prepared "grab & go" style breakfast such as bagels, cereal, granola bars, coffee, tea, juice, etc. Our most requested student meal plan is "2 meals," which consists of a grab & go breakfast and 4 or 5 prepared evening meals Monday through Friday. You must prepare your own lunch each day and all meals on the weekend. Typically, you can buy a lunch meal plan through your school.
- Can I request more than 2 meals a day as well as meals on the weekend?
Yes, we do have hosts who are willing to provide more meals during the week and on the weekend. You will be charged a higher homestay fee for extra meals.
- Will my homestay family provide me a car for transportation?
Typically, we discourage hosts from buying or lending their homestay student a car for liability reasons. However, some of our hosts do allow guests limited use of their own personal vehicles. You must inform Mark's Homestay if you choose to use your homestay family's car. In the USA, all drivers are required to obtain a valid Georgia Driver's License. You can also buy or rent a car in the USA.
- Will my homestay family provide me transportation around town?
No. The student must provide his or her own transportation. However, we do encourage our hosts to help you guest get acquainted to American life by assisting you with setting up banking accounts and other needed services. Most homestay host are glad to provide you transportation from frequently, but there is not requirement to do so. Many of our host are willing to provide transportation to and from school each day. If you would like this transportation service, you will be charged a higher homestay fee for the service.
- Can Mark's Homestay pick me up from the airport?
Yes, we arrange airport pick-up for our students via the homestay application. Prices may vary based on location. Our safe taxi driver will meet and greet you at the airport with a sign that says "Mark's Homestay." The driver will take you directly to your homestay host family. Our transportation provider will pick you up in a luxury Lincoln Town Car, not a taxi cab.
- Am I required to purchase health insurance?
Yes. You can purchase health insurance from your home country provider, your school, or Mark's Homestay. MH will verify you insurance coverage within the first 2 weeks upon arrival.
- Should I buy rental insurance?
You are not required to buy renter's insurance; however we do recommend it. Most renters' insurance policies will cover fire, storm, smoke, theft, water-damage, or other common loss types on and off your property. Renter's insurance is really affordable and cost $5-$10 dollars a month.
- Will I have a key to my host family home?
Yes, homestay host are requied to provide you a key.
- Can I do homestay with my friend or family member?
Yes, if available, we have several homestay hosts who are willing to host more than one student. MH charges for each student, minus $100 from the standard or premium rate.
- Can my friend or family member come visit me at my homestay?
Yes, with the homestay host family approval in advance.
- What if there is an emergency?
If you have an emergency, you should call 9-1-1 on your phone to contact the police. If you are unable to do so, our homestay hosts are instructed to help you contact the police. Moreover, you can contact Mark's Homestay emergency support phone number anytime!
Changes, Cancellations, and Terminations
- What happens if the homestay arrangement doesn't work out?
Although we do our best to make sure this doesn't happen, sometimes it simply doesn't work out. MH has established flexible, but consistent policies for various situations to govern changes, cancellations, and terminations. Please see our policy page for more details.
- Can I cancel my homestay agreement with Mark's Homestay if I decide I no longer wish to host students?
Yes, by providing written notice of your termination. You must provide a 2 weeks written notice to terminate the homestay agreement. Please see our changes, cancellations, and refund policies for more details.
Student and Host Guidelines exist to ensure that both the student and homestay host have a positive homestay experience. These guidelines are not comprehensive, but are designed to provide both the student and homestay host parameters for maintaining a respectable living environment. Your host may have more formal rules and regulations by which you must abide by during your stay:
Homestay Guidelines for Guest
- The Guest, student, visitor or roommate (the "Guest"), must keep his/her room clean, organized and vacuumed as needed.
- No food is to be taken or eaten in the Guest's room unless permitted by the owner of the residence (the "Host").
- Guest must respect the privacy of Host all times
- Telephone cards must be used for all long distance and international calls. Use of the Host's telephone, appliances, TV, video, Internet, stereo, etc), and other items in the Host home, is a privilege and cannot be used without the consent and approval of Host. Guest must request Host's permission to use such items each and every time Guest wishes to use them. If Host and Guest work out an arrangement where Guest is not required to ask permission each time Guest wants to use a specific item, then that must be resolved directly with Host.
- Guest must abide by all U.S. federal, state, and municipal laws while residing with the Host. Guest may not use the home for illegal activity.
- Smoking is not permitted in the Homestay unless expressly authorized by the Host.
- Guest, not Host, is responsible for doing their own laundry, including all linens, towels, and other items provided by Host. Unless expressly permitted by Host, Guest is not permitted to use the washer/dryer of the Host, and must do their laundry in a laundry facility outside of the Homestay.
- Light cooking is permitted at a time that is convenient for Host. Guest must adhere to Host's rules regarding cooking and/or food preparation and use of utensils. Guest is expected to clean all utensils and dishes used for their light cooking, and must leave the kitchen in the same condition they found it prior to cooking.
- Guest may not invite friends or others to the Homestay unless expressly permitted by Host.
- In view of security concerns, if Guest intends to return to the Homestay later than 10pm, then Guest must inform the Host accordingly. If the Guest plans to temporarily reside outside the Host's residence for 1 night or more, the Guest must inform the Host of the leave of absence at least 3 days in advance. The Guest is still responsible for payment of homestay fees during a temporary leave of absence.
- Any extension of Guest's Homestay term requires the approval of Mark's Homestay, LLC. All financial arrangements for extending Guest's stay must be made through Mark's Homestay LLC.