Frequently Asked Questions about Gap Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has ANDEO been around?
Our non-profit organization was founded in 1981, and our focus has always been on educational homestay programs.

What is a host family?
Host families come in all shapes and sizes. For example, they may be parents with children (from baby to adult), single parents, couples without children, grandparents, or single individuals (Note: Female students won't be placed with single male individuals). Host families provide a comfortable place to stay, some or all meals depending on the program, and opportunities to practice language skills with native speakers and gain insights into the everyday life and culture of your host country.

How are the host families selected?
All host families are screened by the language schools. Families go through an application process and are interviewed in their home before they welcome their first student. The application process varies by country, but the goal is the same with all our partners: to make sure that the family can provide a welcoming learning environment for an international student. Many families host year after year and are evaluated by each student that stays with them.

Will my host family speak English?
They might, but they know that you are coming to use and improve your language skills, so they will encourage you to converse in the language of your host country.

When will I receive information about my host family?
You will receive host family information and contact details in the week prior to your program start date, possibly earlier.

Can I get college credits for a gap program with ANDEO?
Possibly. You'll need to talk to a school counselor. Some colleges are set up to award credit for independent programs and others are not. That said, at most colleges and universities you will likely be able to earn CLEP (credit by exam) credit for the language skills you develop while you're abroad.

What travel documents will I need?
That depends on the length of your stay, your citizenship, and other individual factors. Generally, U.S. citizens need a valid passport but not a visa for short term stays where ANDEO offers programs (except Bolivia). You can find more information about entry requirements on the website of the embassy or consulate of your host country. For programs lasting three months or longer, you may need to apply for a visa, or choose a multi-country program.

How will I get from the airport to my host family?
You will be met at the airport by a local program representative who will bring you to your new home. At the end of your stay, you will have the option of purchasing an airport transfer through the school. However, after living for several months in the country, many students prefer to get themselves to the airport, so the price of an airport return is not included in the program price.

Can I speak with people who have been in an ANDEO program before?
Definitely! Please contact our office, and we can provide you with the email addresses of past participants.

Will ANDEO help me prepare for my homestay experience?
Yes! Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive an orientation packet that covers everything from what to pack to how to deal with culture shock. Our coordinators will also be available to answer any questions that come to mind, so don't hesitate to call or email anytime!

How do I apply?
Complete the program reservation and submit your $300 deposit. The deposit will go toward your total program price; it is not an additional fee. We will then email you a detailed application packet that includes questions about your family and interests, a medical statement and release form, an agreement that spells out behavior expectations, directions for writing a letter to your host family, and three reference forms. You will have about three weeks to complete the detailed application. Once we have received your completed application, a program coordinator will call you for a phone interview. The decision to accept you into the program will be made based on your completed application and the interview.

What is the application deadline?
Apply four weeks before you'd like to start your program.

What is your cancellation policy?
If for any reason we cannot accept you into the program, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel before the date your detailed application is due, you will receive your deposit back less a $200 cancellation fee. If you cancel after that date, you will receive a refund less the deposit and any non-refundable costs incurred. All cancellations must be received in writing.

Who should not apply for this program?
Students who are currently experiencing excessive behavior problems, drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders or other psychological disorders that might interfere with the program, or students who have experienced these issues within the past year, should not apply.

When should I book my flight?
Please wait until you have been officially accepted into the program. Information about arrival and departure airports and times will be included in your acceptance email.

What are my pre-trip responsibilities?
You will need to turn in your application and payments on time, obtain your travel documents, book your flights, and prepare for the experience (we will send you suggestions on what you can do to prepare).

Are these programs eligbile for your scholarship?
No, only our summer homestays for individual students are eligible for the scholarship.