Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Santa Barbara so expensive?
Yes, Santa Barbara is expensive and is in the top 5 most expensive cities in the USA. Lucky for us, we have the best weather in the country, the most beautiful views from all over the city, we enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the ocean, our community is safe, and SBCC is ranked #1 for best community colleges in all of the US. I guess we pay for location, location, location. Our host families are located in Santa Barbara no further than 10 miles from SBCC or UCSB.
What kind of students live in your host families?
Students that live with the host families we work with are interested in getting a glimpse into the American way of life. We also have American students from out of state that would rather live with local families for their first and second semesters. They are mature young adults that are responsible for themselves but want the experience of living with an American couple, family or single person to practice their English skills, participate in family events, share in meals together and get to know Santa Barbara through the eyes of a local.
What is the benefit of living with a host family?
Living with a host family is a great way to experience local Santa Barbara. Host families are the typical American family who most likely work full time, enjoy dinnertime together, particpate in local events and will include students in as much as they want to be included. Students must practice their English skills while living with hosts and experience the culture of Santa Barbara first hand.
How can I make a reservation?
Please go to our 'Apply Now' option and submit your application. A representative will contact you shortly thereafer with housing or host family availability. A Skype interview is recommended during which you can ask as many questions as you would like. This also gives up an opportunity to meet you and do our best to match you with the best family for you. All payments must be made to confirm placement. The Coral Group accepts cash, local checks, credit card and bank wires only.
What is your Skype Name?
What if I have a friend and we want to live together, is that ok?
Yep! As long as we have a family with room for two students, we are happy to accommodate friends together.
How long can I stay in a host family?
Host families are available for a 4 month minimum stay only. There is a 6 week cancellation policy.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
For cancellations made 4 weeks before the start date, payments are 100% refunded less application and international bank wiring fees. For cancellations made less than 4 weeks before lease start date, payments are refunded less $250 cancellation fee and international bank wiring fees.
Once you agree to live with a host family, you are confirmed for the duration of your chosen time period.
What is included when I live with a host family?
Single room: Your hosts will provide you with a bedroom, desk (or availability to a desk), Wifi, laundry use, 7 continental breakfasts and 5 dinners per week. You are responsible for transportation to school and back, snacks, food for lunches and laundry soap.
No Meals Plan: Your hosts will provide you with a bedroom, desk (or availability to a desk), Wifi & laundry use. You are responsible for transportation to school and back, all meals, snacks, food for lunches and laundry soap. Please coordinate with your host family about the best time to prepare your meals.
Shared Room: Your hosts will provide you with a bedroom, desk (or availability to a desk), Wifi, laundry use, 7 continental breakfasts and 5 dinners per week. You are responsible for transportation to school and back, snacks, food for lunches and laundry soap.
What happens to my deposit at the independent housing?
Your deposit will be returned to you by the Program Director upon your departure given everything is left as you found it. Students must throw away their trash and leave rooms as they found it. Any damages or missing kitchen items are deducted from the deposits.
What about parties? Can I have all my friends over for a big party?
Not such a good idea. SB Homestay families are not party destinations. There are no big parties, no drugs, no smoking inside and no candles allowed at any host family home. Consequences for rules being violated may include probation, SBCC disciplinary action or termination.
Who can I ask for help if anything comes up?
Once you arrive we will introduce ourselves to you and give you information about who can assist you during your stay and we will give you phone numbers for who to call when. Our office is located downtown. Appointments must be made to speak to personnel.
Are the host families close to SBCC and downtown?
The host families tend to live at a short distance from SBCC. We have families living all over the city. Some live closer to the schools than other families. If distance is a priority for you please make that clear during your Skype interview. We will do the best we can! Students will need to learn how to use the bus system, which host families will assist with. Some host famileis are available for rides, but students must ask in advance. Otherwise, host families will show students the best route to get to school and back.
Do you have a Facebook page?
We will be starting one soon! Stay tuned :)
There are so many places in town to choose from! Why choose SB Homestay Network?
Mia and Lindsay have many years experience working with international students. We set ourselves apart from other student housing in that we form a small community, we are actively involved in our students' lives and take great care to make sure all students are comfortable and safe. Our host families have been carefully chosen because they have shown a genuine interest in hosting international students. Our host families are wonderful examples of our American culture. Our students are genuinely cared for while staying with us.
If I'm already in town and I want to come by to meet, may I?
Absolutely! Just give us a call and we'll arrange for someone to show you around.
See you soon!
We proudly support and donate a percentage of our profits to SlingShot Art Studio & Gallery, a beautiful art studio and gallery for our Santa Barbara community members with developmental disabilities. For more information, please go to the SlingShot website.