FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- How do I apply for a homestay?
- How should I pay the fees?
- Can I pay the fees when I arrive?
- What is the application deadline?
- When will I receive my placement information?
- Will I live within walking distance to school?
- When will I meet my hosts for the first time?
- When should I plan to arrive?
- What is the weather like in the Puget Sound area (Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia)?
- What do I need to bring with me?
- Can a member of my family live with me at my host's home?
Complete the application form and homestay agreement and send them to the ABODE office along with the application fees (see Pricing). The best way to send the application is by fax (with credit card payment information) or express mail (with check or money order). You can also send it by regular mail if you have enough time before your arrival. You will receive our confirmation that we have received your application within 10 working days.
We accept MasterCard/Visa, a bank draft (in US dollars, drawn on a US bank), traveler's checks, and postal money orders. Checks should be made out to ABODE.
If you are paying by credit card, we recommend that you print the application paperwork and payment form and fax it to our office.
No. We cannot process any application until the fees are paid. Include your payment with your application.
In order to provide professional service to you, we need to receive your application at least one month before your arrival in the Puget Sound area. Late applications will be concidered on a case-by-case basis.
We generally make placement assignments two to four weeks before a homestay guest is due to arrive in the Puget Sound area. This timing enables us to make the best match between you and available hosts. As soon as your placement is confirmed, we will send you a host profile. You can expect to hear from us about two to three weeks before your arrival.
No. The average commuting time in the Puget Sound area is approximately 45 minutes by public transportation and no more than two buses. Some homestay guests have difficulty adjusting to the lengthy distance and travel time to school, but we make every effort to place homestay guests conveniently according to the school they will attend.
You should also keep in mind that there are plenty of buses during commuter hours (6:30 AM - 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM). During the midday and evening hours, however, buses do not run as frequently. Learning the bus system will be part of the experience of adjusting to life in a new city.
Your host or representative from ABODE will meet you at the airport. If you are already in the Puget Sound area, you will have an opportunity to visit the host before you move in. Please use that visit as a chance to ensure you will be comfortable and to ask any questions. Please see Arrival for more details.
We will not place homestay guests in homestays more than two weeks before the start of their classes. Most hosts are working families and they are not available during the day. If homestay guests come too early, they tend to get lonely, bored, and anxious, which leads to culture shock and homesickness.
Placements for Fall Quarter usually happen in mid-September. Placements for Winter Quarter are complicated by the Christmas holidays and the New Year holidays; please plan early.
Please refer to the airport pickup blackout days in Arrival.
The average temperature in the summer is 68° - 75° Fahrenheit (20° - 24° C) and the average temperature in the winter is 40° - 45° Fahrenheit (4° - 7° C). However, the weather changes frequently and can vary a lot from day to day or even hour to hour.
You may have heard rumors that it rains a lot in the Puget Sound area. Most of our rainy days are just cloudy with a slight drizzle, with periods of sunshine too. We usually have nice sunny weather in the summer.
Please bring a variety of clothing, and prepare to wear layers. If you are from a hot climate, please bring a warm jacket or coat. A rainproof jacket or coat is suggested for the fall, winter, and spring months. A light jacket is recommended for summer.
You should also bring your own personal toiletry items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc). You do not need to bring any bedding or household items for your homestay.
No, homestays are for the homestay guest only. Most homes are not large enough to accommodate more people, and it interferes with the process of forming a relationship with the host. The student and family/friends will need to stay in a hotel, and we recommend that they all go directly to the hotel from the airport upon arrival. Also, please let us know in advance if your family or friends are coming with the student.