Improvements to Host Family Application Go Live on 2/21/23

Improvements to Host Family Application Go Live on 2/21/23

To continually improve the user experience for our host family applicants, each year AFS-USA integrates feedback from staff and volunteers to identify improvements to be made to the Host Family Online Application. This feedback is combined with changes that result from the bi-annual Department of State Management Review (audit), most recently conducted for the 2021-2022 program year. This year’s improvements are going live on 2/21/23.

Families who have already submitted their application (“Submitted” stage and after) will not see a change until next year’s application. Only applications in “Created” and “Preparing” stages as of 2/21/23 will reflect these changes.

Most of this year’s changes are relatively minor and address the phrasing of questions or adjust question logic to enhance the user experience. New questions and other more significant changes are listed below.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to

  • A question surrounding host families’ responsible ownership of firearms has been added to the application
  • To help make the question more in line with other household members, the question related to non-family members (i.e., caregiver, housekeeper, nanny, etc.) who have access to the home has moved to the Family section where other household members are identified
  • Helpful instruction text has been added to the question requesting applicants to describe the host student’s bedroom
  • Where host family applicants upload photos of their home, helpful instruction text has been added to set clear expectations for what the photo should feature
  • For photos of the host family’s bathroom, three photo upload sections have been added to make clear what parts of the bathroom should be shown, helping to avoid give-backs
  • In order to avoid give-backs related to “egress”, instructional text related to ensuring the bedroom photo includes a window to the exterior of the home has been added
  • Instructional text re: host family references has been updated to help ensure applicants are clear on requirements