SEATTLE, Jan. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Homestay Network™ (www.homestaynetwork.com), the first national-scale, standards-based homestay organization in America, has begun to place international, college age students in the homes of American families in the greater Seattle region. Launched in late 2012, the American Homestay Network (AHN-USA) was created to bring a new level of best practices in service offerings, operations and technology to hosted homestay programs.
In Washington State alone there are more than 20,000 international students, of which approximately 20 percent desire to live with an American family to develop their language skills, understand American culture, and maximize their educational experience. Additionally, NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, estimates that international students and their dependents contributed approximately $21.81 billion to the U.S. economy, including more than $500 million in Washington State, during the 2011-2012 academic year.
"We created the American Homestay Network to meet the needs of students and schools for safe, good quality and consistently available home accommodations," said Ron Davis, CEO of AHN-USA. "The existing homestay industry in America has not been able to keep up with the growing demand and subsequently our schools are losing access to students that provide a significant financial and cultural benefit to our communities. We are introducing the first professionally-managed homestay operation in America, one that utilizes a sophisticated matching and management technology, extremely high standards and proven operational methodologies that can grow to support tens of thousands of placements per year."
AHN-USA has established relationships with a number of Seattle area universities and colleges, built a preliminary host inventory of qualified families and is prepared to place international students in homes across the greater Seattle area. AHN-USA has recently placed students from Indonesia, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia in Seattle area homes. AHN-USA services include a homestay management system, national background check process, 24x7 professionally staffed emergency support, online payment services, compulsory online student and host orientation training, and professional airport transportation services.
AHN-USA also announced that global education expert David Bycroft, Executive Chairman of the highly acclaimed Australian Homestay Network (www.homestaynetwork.org), has joined the AHN-USA Board of Directors to provide insight and leadership as the Seattle area program continues its roll-out. AHN-USA is bringing to America the best practices and technologies deployed by Bycroft and his colleagues in Australia, widely recognized as the highest industry standards in the world.
"My role with the American Homestay Network is to circumvent the complacency we saw as the international student industry boomed in Australia," said Bycroft. "Without implementing high standards now, there is a potential risk to lose tens of thousands of students who are coming to America to study and live."
About The American Homestay Network
The American Homestay Network (AHN-USA) was created to bring a new level of best practices in service offerings, operations and technology to hosted homestay programs for visiting international students. AHN-USA is committed to setting a new global standard for student homestay in America. Through its business relationships with the Australian Homestay Network, global insurers, banks and national emergency response partners the company offers an unprecedented collection of comprehensive services. The company is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and AWISA: Association of Washington International Student Affairs. For more information, visit www.homestaynetwork.com.
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CONTACT: Media Contact Jaime Quick ChangeUp for the American Homestay Network firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-229-5183
Source:American Homestay Network, Inc.