Cultural Homestay InternationalDon't send your child through them

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Verified customer
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This company is so unorganized, incompetent ... I don't know where to start. My family felt sorry for a exchange student who came over with no family assigned to him. A single woman offered to take him in for a couple of weeks max, till they could find him a home. They never found a home for him and after 2 months she checked the child out of school and he was told that day after school that he would be going to a small town about 3 hours away and start in a new school system. My child had met him and felt really sorry for him. Without much thought we decided to take him in. The first CHI representative that came to my house to explain the process was late, brought her husband and 2 children. The kids were all over the house, the husband just talked about random non-related topics, and the wife said she really didn't have time to do this. I asked for a literature/ information they had none. I asked for a business card, nope, tore off a tiny piece of paper and wrote her number down. She said I would need to fill out forms but she didn't have them, that I should look on line. She was suppose to take pictures, no camera, and could I just do it myself. Time went by no clue to what my family and I had gotten ourselves into. Days later an employee of CHI was in an extreme rush to get forms filled out. She asked if she could just fill the forms out for me. Asked me to send photos while she filled out all the forms. I stated that this all seemed very unprofessional, and that the family of this kid would be appalled at the unorganized mess that they put their son in. I asked CHI employee for literature, to explain what role my family was to take, asked for copies of the forms she was filling out, asked for the insurance and procedures if something happened. None of this was offered I asked, waited 2 weeks, asked again, nothing. Emailed all parties I had addresses for. No info., finally spoke to same CHI employee and she said she did mail it, to an address that I lived at over 20 years ago. She didn't understand how come it was mailed there. I stated I didn't either since I had given her all my information when she filled forms out for me. She had no response. Received the package, none of the forms that she filled out for me were included, nor the insurance information. It is very scary to know I gave my personal information to CHI who has been such an unorganized, incompetent, substandard company. Since the first representative, after 2.5 months we are now on our fourth one. The others were the of the same caliber as the first one. The CHI employee I have, who lives about 2 hours away wanted to come and check on the exchange student right before Christmas. We set a date and time and I reminded her that if she was to come at 5pm that the traffic would be horrible and could take 3 hours. She assured me that she would be coming down early, doing some Christmas shopping and then would be at our house at 5 pm.

I said that would be okay, but that the kids were in the midst of finals, and I was very busy with work and shopping etc. She said she had to come. Got every one on board to be home, 5:25 no CHI employee. I call, she states that she was sorry but her child was sick. I truly understand a child being sick. But a courteous call would only take 5 seconds, or have someone from CHI call at say 3pm, Remember they have ALL my information. Nope. The no show CHI employee called our exchange student asked to come by to have him sign papers. Never calls me. Suppose to show up on MLK day at 1 pm. Calls at 2 and says she will be there in 10 minutes. Knocks on the door with her child and dirty boots. Never introduces herself to my husband, not cordial. Leaves truck running in driveway, out of house in less than 10 minutes.

I get a call from the school, counselors calls to say the student is unassigned...oopps, CHI forgot to fill out after temporary host mom quit. I went to school to fill out forms. CHI employee emailed me and asked for me to send forms I filled out at school to her.

Insurance they new nothing, I had to call to get correct information. If I had relied on their info, it was wrong. CHI employee admitted that her staff was not correct on information they gave me.

I could go on and on! It has been a horrible experience with CHI. I WOULD WANT TO KNOW OF THE INCOMPETENCE OF CHI BEFORE I SENT MY KID TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY and to pay them money.

More Cultural Homestay International Complaints & Reviews


  • So
    Sojo00865 May 03, 2011

    On behalf of Cultural Homestay International I want to extend an apology for the horrible experience you had with the local Cultural Exchange Representatives that were assigned to you. I am a local Academic Coordinator with Cultural Homestay Exchange, and I can assure you that this is not the type of experience that we want our students or parent hosts to endure. It is unfortunate that you and your student did not have an opportunity to enjoy the intended benefits of the cultural exchange experience. As an academic coordinator in the state of South Carolina, I am committed to providing the best possible service to both the parent host and the student. The types of representatives that you have encountered happen to give those of us who do our jobs well a bad reputation, a reputation that we work very hard to maintain. A reputation for excellence, dependability and integrity. Again, my apologies to you. I would like to thank you for stepping up to help our student through a difficult situation.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Mindy Mac Aug 19, 2011

    My question is why is a South Carolina Academic Coordinator responding to this and not someone in a Senior Executive role, like CEO, VP, Founder, etc? No offense against the SC rep as it was admirable for her to apologize but not her place. I only started googling this company because I am concerned that my child is hanging out with these girls from Russia that happen to be in this program. As a cautious mother I am ALWAYS aware of what's around her. She sent me the link to this company to help me understand what this company is about. I think it's disturbing to read this complaint and I don't have the warm and fuzzy feeling that my daughter was hoping I would get by researching this company.

    0 Votes
  • Le
    lesliem448 May 09, 2012

    Wow, we have had exactly the opposite experience. Our AC has been prompt, carried through, and been friendly. She has been quick to respond and answer any questions we have had. Additionally, we did received literature and information on expectations. Sorry to hear you had such a rough time but we had a great experience.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Rick, Cali Nov 26, 2012

    Not that we have a student. My daughter is friends with a girl from Brazil. Her host family makes her stay in her room, she has to cook dinner for the family, help with food for the family. But even worse they are trying to convert her to their religion. Telling her that shes going to die, telling her that her family teaching her wrong. First if you can't afford an extra mouth to feed then don't take on the responsibility of someones child. OK helping around the house is fine, they are here to have fun and go to school and experience a new culture. NOT SLAVERY. If your not open to allowing other people to worship in their own way, you have no business having any one from another country stating with you. Who screens this people, or is it all about the money? I have sent a letter to CHE, I just wonder if I will get a response. Does The CPA have anything to do with this?

    0 Votes
  • Do
    Dorothy Whitefield Jan 21, 2013

    Dear Rick,

    Did you hear back from CHI?

    0 Votes
  • Ru
    ruben ortiz Feb 23, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am interested in working for CHI, so I dug around to research all about it. I am appalled that no one from CHI HQ has gotten back with the complaining guy KLM218 in what is now two full years. If he or any of the other posters have heard from CHI HQ, please post it here immediately. Somebody has to be responsible by now, even if no one was responsible before. I like what CHI puts out about how it's helping kids, but the lack of corrective action after two years only proves KLM218 is right on target. Maybe it's even worse than he describes. I can't work for a company where I'm pinched in the middle. Been there, done that, got the scars.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
    Harsh! Oct 17, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I totally agree that this "organisation" CHI has nothing to do with proffesionalism. I started the proccess in order to become an exchange student for my practice and the result was to reject me because one man judged me that I was harsh in my emails and not adequate for their program. He was really offensive and finally I am glad that I won't participate to that mess.
    Probably from them all this is a slave market and if someone refuses to follow, they must meet the consequences.

    0 Votes
  • Jb
    J.Bo Dec 28, 2013

    Please anyone that cares about their children, do not let them be part of this company. My cousin came on a work/travel visa and she is having the worst experience of her life! Not only they did not have housing set up for her as promised but CHI tried to force her to live in an unfurnished apt and sleep in the floor. They have starved, frizzed outside dragging their luggage from place to place, not working the hours and days as promised. Finally when they got an stable place, there is no lease and CHI was to pay for the place from the refund of the 1st unfurnished place that CHI arrange for them, however no payment had been made now they are been threaten of eviction! and the employer has not even pay them a dime yet . 6 other students came from the same country with the same sponsor "CHI" and all are been exploded as slaves and are been abused emotionally by the employer that CHI found for them. They are been ignored by CHI. I could be going for hours with all the horrible experiences and abuses that these people have exposed them to. But one thing I tell you for sure, I am contacting all sources needed to stop these companies and what they call their partners to stop this human trafficking !

    0 Votes
  • No
    nothankyousir Jan 30, 2014

    I completely agree with this comment. DO NOT WORK with this company, in particular with someone by the name of Edinson, who helps to sponsor the J1 visas. He is difficult to work with, hard to communicate with, and does not even reside in the U.S. making it even more difficult to get a hold of! AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    Mrs Lang Oct 14, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    An AC just abruptly "removed" our host student without any "communication" which CHI is so "big on". My letter to CHI is below;

    Dear CHI,

    We had an unanounced visit from AC Lori of Chehalis WA this afternoon. She informed us she and her boyfriend were here to "pick up Kazuki".

    At first Lori was unaware as to why she was here to pick Kazuki up but after further discussion, she said that his agency had received his report and that there was " a compatibility issue" because he had to have school breakfast and shower schedule.

    Kazuki's paper he sent to his agency did state these two items but he also added it " was no big deal".

    First, Kazuki was obviously emotionally upset and nervous when he left our home. He too was unaware until late this afternoon when he received a "text" from AC Lori that she was coming to pick him up.

    Our same age son said Kazuki nearly broke down and cried several times while packing. CHI stresses "communication" yet never gave an opportunity for Kazuki and/or our family to communicate to CHI any difficulty or any resolution.

    My son too is also very emotionally upset over this abrupt change in his everyday life. Had the boys( who have a friendship) had a warning that this was going to take place, they could have emotionally prepared for a move.

    Breakfast: It is supplied by our public schools. Even our grandson who attends the same school Evergreen High eats breakfast at school. Also, we have a 3 year old toddler who is Autistic and cannot be woken by movement in the kitchen early morning hours. There was no reason Kazuki couldn't eat breakfast at his High school with the other students.

    Showers: Due to having Solar installed on our home nearly 2 years ago which included a "hot water tank-solar" and does not give endless hot water, we, as a family have had to be on a "shower schedule" and "laundry schedule". We have no choice.

    By this abrupt removal of our host student, Kazuki we have been made to feel like we did something wrong, we have not. It also gives an appears in our community (including but not limited to the schools here) that we are in some way inadequate to host.

    We simply ask for a letter of explanation. Something is very wrong when the student nor the family wants a new placement.

    The Lang Family

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anonimo1439 Apr 15, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am very frustraded with their internship program. I sent an athlete, trainer cv to horse working and instead of sending me to a work ar this area (for example, riding schools) they sent me to farms to make a farm work wich I don't know anything about. I still don't know what to do but if the situation keeps like that I will have to make a serious Providence.

    0 Votes
  • Ts
    Tsigili Apr 18, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Very concerned about their communication with the agencies in the hosting country and communication with the students. A coordinator sent a rather unkind letter to the student saying there was a complaint from the host family, but did not attempt to speak to the student at all to determine what the issue was. The student, thankfully, reached out to the coordinator in the US who did attempt to at least intervene. In short, it was a communication issue brought on by language and cultural differences that could have been resolved by asking a question. Instead the student was more or less told they would be sent home if they didn't shape up. Their error, was that they asked permission to take food from the refrigerator rather than just taking what was there, and they had to ask how to use the shower as it was very different from a regular 'shower' in the US.

    0 Votes
  • Kr
    Kristenp Sep 27, 2020

    My concern with this organization is that they are not up front about the cost associated with hosting a student. If you are planning on taking a student, please be advised that it is going to cost, on average, anywhere from $300-$400 per month per student. The coordinator was quick to point out that there is no compensation for hosting a student, which is fine. But at no point in our conversation did they mention that it was going to be such a costly endeavor. I feel that the organization should let potential host families know this before they take on such a responsibility, especially if you are on a budget. If I had taking this expense into consideration, I probably would not have taken my students (who are amazing) because I feel that I am not able to offer them the kind of experience that they deserve.
    On top of the monthly increase to the food and other household budget, my students expect me to take them on trips every weekend (yet another added expense). While I would love to be able to accommodate their requests, financially I am simply not able to. Again, this is not any fault of the students, just an unfortunate reality that a program like this actually costs the host family a considerable amount of money. Cultural Homestay International should offer this information in the very first email that they send out when seeking potential host families.

    0 Votes

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