Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all AmeriStudent Policies on a regular basis for updates.
AmeriStudent is responsible for managing the expectations of the Guest, Host and other related parties with respect to maximizing the opportunity for a successful homestay placement.
It is important that all parties are clear on the relevant refund and associated policies regarding these processes.
Homestay fees are generally made up of two types of payments.
1. Homestay Matching Fee
This fee is paid to AmeriStudent to confirm that a placement is required. It covers the cost of host recruitment, training and assessment and the work associated with the matching process. On receipt of the initial payment, AmeriStudent will review the Guest’s profile and preferences and commence the work required to find a well-matched and appropriately certified Host for the Guest. The Matching Fee is not refundable once payment has been received.
Host family profile will be sent to the guest within thirty (30) days after the first payment is received.
If AmeriStudent is unable to provide a minimum of 1 host family option who meets AmeriStudent standards, then the matching fee will be returned. AmeriStudent does not discriminate against any host families in our registry based on age, race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and marriage or family status.*Matching Fee is refundable if the Guest’s visa is denied and we receive the visa refusal notification.
2. Homestay Weekly Fees
The weekly fees are paid to AmeriStudent to cover the payment to the Guest’s Host, support services and monitoring of the homestay placement. An invoice for the minimum period of weekly fees (four weeks) will be generated once a suitable host match has been found. The weekly fees must be paid before a placement can be confirmed. Weekly fees are refundable if the minimum two-week notice period is met.
· If the Guest cancels their placement and provides more than two weeks written notice prior to arrival, their weekly fees will be refunded.The Matching Fee is not refundable.
· If the Guest cancels their placement and provides less than two weeks written notice prior to arrival, they will forfeit payment for two weeks plus the Matching Fee Deposit.Any additional weekly fees paid will be refunded.
· In the event a student does not arrive to the US due to a visa rejection (at least three attempts of visa interview required), the weekly Fees, less the Matching Fee, will be refunded if the guest has provided a minimum of three business days’ notice. If the required notice is not provided, AmeriStudent will retain the Matching Fee and two weeks’ payment of the weekly fees. Any remaining funds will be refunded.
Pre-arrival Changes or Delays:
· If a Guest is unable to arrive by their intended start date due to a visa delay or course change, the Guest may defer their placement until visa approval is granted, or the course is rescheduled.
· There will be no charge for this change if AmeriStudent is advised in writing of any changes at least three business days prior to arrival. All fees will be transferred to the new placement.
· The Guest may be required to pay another Matching Fee for a new placement, and up to two weeks of homestay weekly fees, if AmeriStudent is not advised in writing of these changes at least three business days prior to arrival.
· AmeriStudent requires a minimum of five days’ notice once a Guest’s visa has been approved to ensure a Host can be arranged for the new arrival date.
· If a homestay placement has been confirmed and a Guest is unable to arrive by their intended start date, AmeriStudent cannot guarantee the same Host will be able to accommodate the Guest for their new dates. A new placement may be arranged once the Guest’s visa is approved and new arrival details are confirmed.
· All other changes or delays will be subject to the same notice periods and penalties as detailed in the Pre-arrival Cancellations section. The Guest will forfeit the Matching Fee Deposit and up to two weeks of homestay fees if adequate notice is not given.
Post-arrival Changes and Cancellations:
· Once a Homestay placement has commenced, AmeriStudent is unable to refund weekly fees for the Guest's initial period of homestay (usually four weeks). The Matching Fee Deposit is also not refundable.
· If a Guest is unhappy with their chosen homestay Host family, they should contact AmeriStudent to discuss.
· AmeriStudent will liaise with the Guest and Host to try to rectify any concerns and assist through the ‘settling in’ period.
· The Guest is required to provide AmeriStudent and their homestay Host with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they intend to move out of homestay.
· This notice period cannot commence during the first two weeks in homestay.
· If a Guest gives less than two weeks’ notice of their intention to move out, they will still be required to pay weekly fees for two weeks following the date on which they have given notice.
· If the Guest wishes to change Host families after the first four weeks, and there are not adequate grounds for the change, the Guest may be charged another Matching Fee for AmeriStudent to find a new homestay. This applies to each new placement a Guest applies for.
· The Guest is still required to provide the minimum of two weeks’ notice to AmeriStudent and the original Host before moving to another homestay.
· Weekly fees will need to be paid a minimum of two weeks before the transfer date in order to cover the first payment to the new Host family.
· There will be no refund if the Guest chooses to leave without serving out the required notice period.
· If AmeriStudent is required to transfer a Guest’s homestay placement more than three times and there has been no AmeriStudent policy breach by the Host/s, AmeriStudent reserves the right to discontinue its services for the Guest.
· Transport to a new AmeriStudent homestay will be coordinated by AmeriStudent if the Guest is under 18. The Guest is responsible for any additional costs incurred for packing, moving, cleaning a room after departure, or damages to the room or property.
· If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement and there has been no AmeriStudent policy breach by the Guest, the Host must give two weeks’ notice so AmeriStudent can arrange a new homestay placement for the Guest. If the Host requires the Guest to move immediately, AmeriStudent will make every effort to find another available Host and the homestay placement will be transferred as soon as possible. If no other Hosts are available, the Guest will receive a refund or credit of the remaining nights.
· If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement due to the Guest breaching AmeriStudent policy or not complying with the Host’s house rules, the Guest will be required to move immediately. If, after AmeriStudent counselling, the Guest can be placed with a new Host family, the Guest will be charged an additional Matching Fee prior to a new placement being confirmed.
· If a homestay placement needs to be cancelled due to an AmeriStudent policy breach by the Host, AmeriStudent will make every effort to arrange placement with a new Host family if the Guest requests it.
Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement - General
· The party requesting to cancel or change a homestay placement (i.e. the Guest or the Host) must notify AmeriStudent in writing to formally lodge their request.
· The Guest must provide AmeriStudent with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they wish to change their package.
· AmeriStudent will be responsible for contacting the other party to advise them of the request to cancel or change the homestay placement.
· Once the cancellation or change has been approved, AmeriStudent will notify both parties to confirm the details of any reimbursements, refunds and transfer information as applicable.
Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement – Room Holding
Please refer to the AmeriStudent Room Holding Policy for notice periods and communications required for any room holding requests.
Airport Pickup Policy
· The Guest is required to contact AmeriStudent as soon as they are aware of delays to their scheduled flight and/or their arrival information.
· AmeriStudent tracks the flights online: if they are made aware of a flight delay at least an hour before the original flight landing time, they will wait another two hours (or until the delayed plane lands at the airport.)
· If airport pickup has been booked and the Guest misses their flight or fails to provide updated arrival information, then there will be no refund or credit for the unused transportation. After business hours* this notice must be provided via phone and email.
· There will be no charge for changes if notice is given at least an hour before the original flight landing time. Afterhours this notice must be provided via phone and not email.
· The guest will need to pay for a new booking if pick up is required at another time.
· The instructions for meeting the driver at the airport will be detailed on the Guest’s arrival report. If the Guest has not met the driver at the designated location within the expected time frame, the driver will leave the airport and the cost of the pre-paid APU will be non-refundable. The Guest will be required to pay again if the driver needs to return to the airport to pick them up.
· If the Guest finds an alternate way to/from the homestay, there will be no refund or credit given for unused airport pick up services.
*Note: business hours are between 9.00am and 5.00pm in the local time of the AmeriStudent office the Guest is assigned to.
For guests using AmeriStudent purchased medical insurance, all fees are due before services will begin. Once services have begun, all insurance fees paid to AmeriStudent are non-refundable.
Short Term Study Tours
Study Tours are generally paid in full prior to arrival and are arranged through a tour organizer for a set duration. Guests can therefore not give notice to move out of homestay and a refund of homestay fees will not be permitted once the placement has commenced (normal pre-arrival policies around refunds will apply). Any changes should be requested through the tour organizer.
No cash refunds will be processed. If the original payment was made by credit card, we will refund back to the same card. A 3% service charge may be deducted from the refund total. If payment was not made by credit card, approved refunds will be deposited into a domestic American bank account. If no American bank account is available, we will refund via wire/telegraphic transfer to a foreign account. A $45.00 US service charge will be deducted from the refund total. Refunds will be processed within four weeks after the Guest has left homestay and appropriate bank details have been received. AmeriStudent cannot refund a Guest or backdate claims against their Fees if AmeriStudent has already paid the Host.