Become a
Host Family

Become a
Host Family

Welcoming an MLA student into your home will not only be a rewarding opportunity for our Italian students, but for your family as well. Having a global perspective and learning about new cultures and customs can be a truly enriching experience. Join the MLA network of host families in the USA and change a student’s life and YOUR FAMILY forever!

Here’s how it works

• The exchange student lives as a member of your family (not a guest), participates in family life, and attends the local high school
• Students come with medical insurance and spending money to cover personal expenses like school fees, phone, clothing, etc.
• Host families provide room & board and loving parental guidance (and are eligible for a monthly stipend to cover living expenses)
• A Local Coordinator will provide support and assistance to you and your student throughout the hosting experience

Steps to becoming a Host Family

1. Complete a Host Family Application
2. An MLA Local Coordinator will contact you to set-up a home visit and interview
3. Receive an MLA student file for your consideration
4. Agree to host an MLA student
5. All members in the household over the age of 18 must complete a background check
6. Local Coordinator comes back to offer an orientation prior to the student’s arrival
7. Pick-up your student from the airport and start your once-in-a-lifetime experience!


MLA is a family-owned company in business since 1976. Our Company’s mission is to provide SAFE, EDUCATIONAL, and CULTURAL experience to students from all over the world.

Safety is part of our corporate culture and in our DNA.

MLA is accredited by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel for F-1 high school programs in the United States.

We offer 24/7/365 support from our head offices in Italy and our US office in Illinois.


Elena I.Year abroad in Germany
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I really like my family, they listen to me, we do activities together, we talk, I feel like I'm in my real family!
Matilde C.Semester in Ireland
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I get on very well with the host family, and we have learned to appreciate the many cultural differences we have and now the relationship is great!
Mario Rossi
Mario Rossi@username
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24-Hour Phone Assistance. Our phones are monitored by American staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are here to help students and families with any challenges they face including emergencies. Call us at +1 609-468-6539.

Local Coordinator. We believe that providing local assistance is the best support we can offer new and returning host families. Our Local Coordinators are in your community and are trained to provide support to our host families. Many LC’s have previous hosting experiences themselves.

Host Family Handbook. Our handbook is available to all host families and provides excellent resources and answers to most frequently asked questions.

Contact Us. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]


There are many different types of host families that qualify for our program, including: single parent families, families with children of any age, families without children, retired persons, and even single people with a strong desire to host. Host parents must be at least 25 years of age and be able to take on the financial responsibility of hosting a student.

Most students are between 14 and 18 years old and attend high school.

MLA conducts all pre-screening of student applicants in-house. Students are required to submit complete application materials including current medical records, at least one teacher recommendation, official academic transcripts, English proficiency exam results, an essay, and a questionnaire. Students participate in an interview with an MLA ESL Teacher ensure a level of English proficiency that meets most our high school’s enrollment criteria. Students also are required to meet with a Child Phycologist to ensure they are prepared for this experience.

Our students are here on an academic and cultural program. They must attend and participate in school full time and maintain a C average in all course work. Students are required to participate as a family member and are expected to follow host family rules, which can include performing family chores. MLA students are considered ambassadors for Italy; their attitudes and behaviors must reflect the highest standards set by our program.

Most of our students arrive in August for a 10-month academic stay, returning to their home country in June. Some of our students only come for a semester, which consists of a 5-month stay. Some semester-students arrive in August and stay until January and other students arrive in January and stay until June.

Yes, you will receive a monthly stipend to cover living expenses, but that is not all–the hosting experience will hopefully enrich your family’s life and build lifelong memories and friendships.

Students come with full medical insurance during their program. Any expenses not covered by insurance are the responsibility of the student and their natural parents.

The student’s natural parents agree to send adequate spending money. This money should be enough for personal hygiene items, clothing, social activities, transportation, trips, school expenses, and telephone calls to their home country.

You are not obligated, but if your family is taking a vacation, you may include your exchange student. Keep in mind that the MLA program is an academic program, and travel will only be permitted for students who are meeting their academic standards. Participation in these trips is the financial responsibility of the exchange student.

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