Do you have questions? Well, we have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Do you have an additional question? Please contact us to speak directly with a member of the STS Select team who can help you get the answers you need.
What does hosting mean?
Hosting means you open your heart and home to a teenager from another country. You provide the same loving, caring environment for them as you do a member of your own family. The student becomes a member of your family, participating in all aspects of your daily life.
What if our student wants to get their driver’s license?
Students are only allowed to drive a motor vehicle under the guidance of a certified driving instructor. Most states require additional practice driving under the supervision of a parent or other adult. It is this extra driving that STS does not allow. Because of this we discourage students from spending the extra money for driver’s education as the ability to meet all other requirements to obtain a license are not possible.
Are we allowed to travel with our student?
Yes. It adds wonderful memories to the experience. Any travel for more than 24 hours, must have a travel form submitted. It is important that we know where our students are. There are several regulations regarding travel, so please refer to your Host Family Handbook and the STS Travel Policy often. If you have any additional questions about travel authorization, contact your Local Coordinator.
Who do we contact in case of an emergency?
Your STS Local Coordinator should be the first person to inform of any emergency. They are trained and willing to work with you to handle difficult situations. Our National Office has 24/7 staff to also accept and respond to phone calls and provide any assistance needed. All contact information is provided in your Host Family Handbook.
Why do I have to receive a 1099 from STS?
IRS regulations require that any person receiving funds over a certain amount in any fiscal year must receive a tax document. The host family stipend is for expenses related to having a student in your home. Monies spent for that purpose are tax deductible.
What if my school is not currently certified to issue the applicable visa?
All schools participating in the F-1 program are required to receive certification through the Department of Homeland Security. This allows you to issue the required documentation our students require to obtain the necessary visa to be on program.
Please follow the link "Read more" for more information.
How do you locate host families?
STS is responsible for the locating and processing of host family applications. We work in conjunction with our partner schools to secure host families within the school community. Host families can also be found in the community at large. We are always working to build a network of host families allowing each match to be made in a timely fashion and with optimum success.
What is the goal of your students in the STS Select Program?
We offer several programs to our students. The cultural education based program is chosen by the student that wants to attend for semester or academic year. They often have to repeat the curriculum when they return home and are not looking for credit or graduation from their US school. For other students, their goal is to attend for multiple years and complete their high school education in the United States. Both missions require equal commitment and effort in their studies and dedication to the overall program offered through STS Select.
How are your students prepared for the program?
Every student communicates with our staff in their native country to complete a comprehensive application. It is with personal care and interest that we develop a relationship with the student to determine the best program to meet their needs. Every student is required to participate in a Pre-departure orientation in their home country. STS offers an additional opportunity for students to transition into the US culture through a multi-day Prep Course in NYC prior to arriving in their host family. Once the student has arrived in their host family, every Local Coordinator conducts another student orientation that is more region focused.
Who should we contact if there is a question or issue regarding an STS Select student?
Depending on the situation, the first line of contact is the host family. Initial concerns about grades, permission slips to school events, and if the student is not feeling well and needs to go home are all things any parent would be involved with, and during the program, the host family is the parent. Additional concerns should be brought to the attention of the Local Coordinator. They are your direct link to STS Select and want to work with you to build a program that meets the needs of every student. The National Office is also available to you. We have an extensive system designed to provide multiple layers and constant support.
Do I get credit in my home country for the school year abroad?
It is best to consult with your school to determine their expectations while you are on program. STS Select will work with you and your chosen school to create access to the courses that may be required by the school in your home country. STS cannot influence the host schools decision regarding final grades, exams or diplomas.
May I change host families?
If you are feeling uncomfortable in your host family, the STS Local Coordinator will always be there to support you. There will be a time of transition and moves are not recommended during the first weeks, giving everyone time to adjust. If a move becomes necessary, STS will work with you to find a new host family.
What will I have to pay for during my program?
It is the responsibility of the student to pay for school supplies, personal entertainment and recreation expenses with friends, and a cell phone. Your host family will provide you with access to three meals every day and is required to provide and/or facilitate transportation back and forth to school each day. You can choose to bring lunch from home, with food provided by your host family, or if you decide you want to purchase lunch at school, that is at your cost. Medical costs not covered by your insurance must also be paid by you and your natural parents.
I want to play sports in my US high school. Is that possible?
Yes, it is possible. Sports are a great way to make friends and become part of the school community. In order to play a sport, there are several factors involved. The final decision on eligibility to play a sport is from the school, and the applicable state athletic association. It may require additional documentation from the student, and an additional health exam by a doctor in the state where you attend school. STS is a listed member of CSIET which indicates to all that we never recruit students to play a specific school sport, but only allow the opportunity for a student that is interested in having the experience while on our program.
Can I choose what classes I want to take while in the United States?
Your goals and current school requirements will be taken into consideration when guiding you to the best program for you. All students are required to take an English and some form of US History. It is necessary that you take additional courses that deal with the primary subjects. However, you can also choose electives. These are classes designed towards your specific interests. It is best that you are very clear in your needs when you apply. We have schools that excel in certain curriculums. STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Business Programs, or Art and Music.