International Students Bring Economic Opportunity for Boston Through the American Homestay Network
Massachusetts universities and colleges draw top students from around the world. Local families are opening their homes to students and drawing income for their families
REDMOND, WA (PRUnderground) May 22nd, 2014
Boston has played an undeniably significant and unique role in the formation of American history and culture — but its role in American education is also without equal. The academic excellence and prestige of Massachusetts institutions like Harvard University, MIT, Boston College, Tufts, Berklee College of Music and many other colleges, universities, and ESL schools pull in students from around the globe in huge volumes – 29,000 international students in Massachusetts this year.
The educational opportunity and status gained by Asian and the Middle Eastern students who study in the US can be a serious boost for their future. English skills are considered basic for success in this global economy – the simple price of entry for an educated professional. Even as China emerges as a leading economic force, the 2013 English Proficiency Index Report by Education First shows that English as the language of business continues to move from “a marker of the elite” in years past to “a basic skill needed for the entire workforce, in the same way that literacy has been transformed in the last two centuries from an elite privilege into a basic requirement for informed citizenship.”
With English proficiency fundamental for global professionals, attending an elite American institution, understanding American culture, acquiring native language influences, and having global personal and professional relationships help to describe the new markers of the educated global elite.
The value to the student is clear, but Massachusetts communities are now getting positioned to gain even more from the huge opportunity these students bring to the local economy and culture. In addition to the cultural richness and revenue these students bring to the region, individuals and families are grabbing the opportunity to gain from the not-insignificant housing budgets these students bring with them.
As successful, mainstream homestay industries in countries like Australia cross-pollinate with the popularity of peer-to-peer services like AirBnB and Uber in the US, homestay feels less risky and the advantage of extra income outweighs fears about safety and comfort. For example, hosts working with American Homestay Network in Boston earn between $650 and $1100 per month per student (up to 2 students at once) for hosting, depending on meals, transportation, accommodation, and location. Hosts get to be ambassadors for the United States, allowing students to experience the American lifestyle, and they expose their own family members to different cultures, food, and traditions. Bringing in an extra $2200 each month makes the added effort of hosting feel like a great trade.
To support the growing demand for homestay in Massachusetts, David Robinson, a Boston entrepreneur, has launched the Massachusetts Regional Agency of the American Homestay Network in May of 2014. Robinson’s agency, in collaboration with the American Homestay Network on a national level, will provide student-host matching services, 24/7 incident support, host screening and training, and many other services to support visiting students and the families that host them locally.
“Boston has a deep history of cultural richness, international flavor, and academic, technological, and business excellence.” said Robinson. “International students gain so much from all that Boston has to offer and now Boston families are just starting to see how these students can in turn, enrich their own families.”
The American Homestay Network is affiliated with the Australian Homestay Network. With practices based on the Australian model, which relies on industry standards widely recognized as the highest in the world, AHN-US is also currently serving students in Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, California, Texas, and Virginia.
“We’re expanding aggressively,” says Glenda Sinclair, AHN-US CEO, “because we believe in the social impact of international exchange through homestay and because we believe in the economic opportunity for communities in the American homestay market.”
AHN continues to recruit entrepreneurs to open agencies in a small number of remaining strategic markets. Learn more at agency.homestaynetwork.com
About American Homestay Network
The American Homestay Network is setting a new global standard for homestay. The
company’s network of regional offices supports a pool of hosts and partners, all of
whom strive to provide international students with a culturally enriching homestay
experience in an American home. The American Homestay Network, established in
2012, is based on the values of Australian Homestay Network: exceptionally trained
hosts offering enriching experiences to international students. For more information,