CINCINNATI, Aug. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Homestay Network® (AHN) (www.homestaynetwork.com), the first national-scale, standards-based homestay organization in America, today announced the launch of the American Homestay Network-Ohio, the next territory in its rapidly growing Regional Agency Program. Led by experienced Cincinnati businesspersons Dave and Marilyn Lane, AHN-Ohio arranges and manages homestay accommodations for international, college-age students studying in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, providing a diverse group of host families who offer a unique Midwest charm to the experience.
Different than most exchange student programs, an AHN "Homestay" offers paid compensation to hosts that provide accommodations for visiting college students during an average stay of 8-10 weeks. Homestay is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a "Homestay Host") and a visiting International Student who comes to live as a guest in their home to support the student's desire to improve his or her English-speaking skills, as well as to learn about American culture and lifestyle.
"Dave and Marilyn have an remarkable local network and deep market knowledge. When combined with our standards, technology, and systems this makes for a successful combination that will improve and grow homestay across America's heartland," said Glenda Sinclair, President of the American Homestay Network. "With its cluster of universities and colleges, and a diverse set of families that value international affairs, the Ohio and Northern Kentucky region is primed to reap the cultural and economic benefits that come with homestay hosting."
AHN's Regional Agency Program (RAP) is designed to provide new or existing regional homestay organizations with the technology and administrative resources needed to develop and grow local programs. AHN's program allows regional agencies to focus on conducting host interviews and home visits, maintaining relationships with local institutions, responding to any onsite student/host needs while providing AHN Headquarters with local insights on marketing, vendors, and related industry organizations.
AHN's headquarter-based resources can reduce a regional agency's overall workload by as much as 70 percent as AHN HQ manages host and student applications, homestay matching, technology systems, a national background check process, a 24x7 call center, online payments, online student and host orientation training, advertising, public relations and other related administrative services.
"AHN's best practices across technology, host recruitment and training, and operations have positioned us up to connect with new host families and engage with universities, community colleges, and English Language schools in our region, setting the stage for us to host many more students," said Dave Lane, Regional Manager of AHN Ohio. "Working within the AHN framework will provide a more enriching homestay experience for our students and host families."
The impacts of international students go far beyond the great cultural value they bring to a community. According to NAFSA, the leading industry association for international educators, the more than 26,000 international students studying and living in Ohio added over $700M to the state economy in the 2011-2012 school year. With 14 public universities with 24 regional campuses, over 100 private institutions, and 23 community colleges, the Buckeye state continues to be an attractive destination for students from all over the globe.
AHN was launched in response to the growing demand by international students for homestay accommodations and to bring a new level of industry best practices in service offerings, operations and technology. As much as 20 percent of visiting students would prefer a homestay option during their studies in America, however there continues to be a significant shortage of number of available host families and existing organizations do not have the infrastructure needed to grow and meet this demand.
About The American Homestay Network
The American Homestay Network (AHN) 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 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.
Source:American Homestay Network, Inc.