ISP Homestay Families

Thank you for your interest in the International Student Program (ISP). In keeping with our mission, international students must live with Christian homestay families for the academic year. Homestay families are a “home away from home” for our international students with homestay parents who are committed to setting a godly example and investing in the spiritual development of the student placed in their home.

Please see the Homestay Family FAQ's below for additional information about our program, including a description of the application process to become a homestay family. Contact Carla Evans, International Student Program Director, with any questions by email at cevans@southsidechristian.org or by phone at (864) 234-7575, ext. 1258.

Homestay Families FAQ's

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the International Student Program (ISP)?

    The ISP gives qualified international students the opportunity to study at the
    school and exposes local students to other cultures and perspectives. Overall, the program's goals are to promote cross-cultural learning and a global, Kingdom school culture that encourages students to look beyond themselves to what God is doing around the world.

    SCS recruits, screens, trains, and cares for international students who attend the school. In keeping with our mission, these international students must live with Christian homestay families for the academic year, including school holidays.
  • Q: What is the application process for becoming a homestay family?

    • Interest - Let Carla Evans, the Director of Student Life & International Relations, know that you are interested in hosting. She can be reached at cevans@southsidechristian.org or (864) 234-7575, Ext. 1258.
    • Application with References - Complete a written application provided by the Director of Student Life & International Relations. Provide references who will be contacted by the school.
    • Background Check - The school will conduct a criminal background check on all adult members (over 18 years old) of the homestay household.
    • Interview & Information - The Director of Student Life & International Relations will arrange an informal meeting with the applicants to offer more information and an overview of the position expectations.
    • Home Visit - An in-home visit with everyone who lives in the home will be arranged in order to view the home, talk with the family, and take some photos.
    • Family Covenant & Agreement - Approved families will be given information about establishing a family covenant for their family while hosting. Homestay parents will sign and return the family agreement.
  • Q: If we are approved as a homestay family, what will be our responsibilities?

    Homestay families are a "home away from home" for the international student
    providing supervision and support as well as housing, meals, and transportation. International students and their parents are expected to cover school tuition and fees (including a homestay fee) and personal expenses. All homestay parents must be Christian believers who are involved in a local church community and be committed to setting a godly example and investing in the spiritual development of the international student placed in their home.
  • Q: If we host an international student, will we receive compensation?

    Yes. Homestay families receive a stipend of $975 per month to cover many of the expenses associated with housing a student for as long as they are hosting the student.
  • Q: Will we be able to choose which international student we host?

    Once the homestay family has been selected, the Director of Student Life & International Relations will decide which student(s) are the best fit for the home. Homestay families always have the option to decline hosting a student if they do not approve of the match.
  • Q: Will our international student be able to speak English?

    Yes. Students will have enough English ability to be accepted by the school. Students' language ability will vary, but all students should be conversant in English, although not necessarily fluent. Students will have studied English in school, but may not have ever been immersed in the language. Therefore, homestay families will need to be patient and to give students helpful advice and informal instruction.
  • Q: When will our international student arrive and leave?

    Students will arrive two to four weeks before the first day of school and will depart within one week of the last day of school. The Director of Student Life & International Relations will inform homestay families about their student's arrival date. Some students may participate in our Southside Christian Summer English Academy. Participation over the summer is optional for homestay families.
  • Q: What resources will SCS provide for homestay families?

    Each homestay family will be provided with a Homestay Family Handbook and a Homestay Student Handbook to explain program expectations and policies. The Director of Student Life & International Relations will be available throughout the school year to answer questions and help work through any difficulties that might arise.

    Quarterly Philoxenia meetings for homestay parents provide opportunities for
    fellowship, training, and prayer. These meetings provide homestay parents the opportunity to network and learn from each other. Semester Koinonia meetings and other regular activities for homestay students provide international students opportunities to fellowship together in informal settings and promote relationships throughout the homestay community.
  • Q: What should we consider as we think about applying to host an international student?

    • Prayer - What is God saying to us about this possibility?
    • Interest - Are we interested in learning about another culture and country? Are we interested in providing a home to a Middle or High School international student? Are all our family members interested in this opportunity?
    • Adaptability - Are we willing to adapt to someone living in our home who will be culturally different? Are we willing to learn and grow? Are we willing to help an international student learn by taking time to explain differences?
    • Logistics - Will we have enough time to invest in another child in our home? Will we be able to provide reasonable transportation for activities? Do we have a place in our home where another child would have space to study and sleep?
    • Current Family Situations - Are there situations in our family right now that would make it difficult for us to host well?

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Carla Evans

    Carla Evans 

    Director of Student Life and International Relations

Meet the Director of Student Life & International Relations

Carla Evans provides leadership for every aspect of our International Student Program. She holds bachelors’ degrees from Southern Wesleyan University in music and psychology and a certification in teaching English as a second language from the University of Cambridge. She has a Master of Education degree from Columbia International University.

Carla has held various teaching positions from kindergarten through adult studies in the United States and Europe, including a term on the mission field in the Czech Republic. At Southside Christian School, she has served as the Elementary School music teacher and has taught  in Student Success Services. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Carla was involved in many aspects of the International Student Program before becoming the Director. She has also directed the Southside Christian Summer English Academy since 2012, coordinated academic support programs and group activities for international students, and worked closely with the homestay families, homestay students, and the High School faculty. Carla and her husband have two sons and host an international student.