Home Away from Home


Dear Saint John's Prep Families,

We are so excited to start the new school year on August 23! In the coming weeks you will receive updates that will include supplies lists and important details. You are always welcome to visit our online parent and student portal for school calendars and other resources.

In the meantime, you are invited to take part in an unique and fulfilling program to connect cultures and build friendships. We hope you will become a part of the Home Away from Home program!

Home Away from Home (HAH) matches our international boarding students with local Prep families. The program is designed to help students transition to life at in the United States. It also allows local students and their families to experience new cultures and perspectives. The HAH creates a bond for these students that will enrich them throughout their time at Prep and beyond.

Form New Friendships

International students who participate in the program do not live with their host families; instead, they and their hosts participate in various activities together when school is in session and form a friendly relationship.

These activities expose international students to aspects of life in the US that they may not experience otherwise. SJP will require hosts and students to participate in three school-hosted events during the school year (August, December, and May).

The host family will be responsible for providing the rest of the experiences for their assigned student. Suggestions include, but are not limited to, occasional dinners with the host family; invitations to family picnics or gatherings; game nights; movie nights; sports event outings; or trips to see a show.

Become a Host Family

We hope that local families will consider taking part in this fantastic opportunity! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Manon Kuzara at mkuzara@sjprep.net. The application to become a host family is available to complete here: https://www.csbsju.edu/forms/9XU8QJU6S2

Student and Host Family Gathering

Mandatory Event for HAH Families

We will gather on Sunday, August 20 at 4:00pm in the Weber Center (before the All School Picnic). Students will be introduced to host families and establish their connection, make plans, trade contract information, etc.

Please note: this is a required meeting for all those participating in the program.

Love & Light,

Manon Kuzara

Director of Residential Life

Saint John's Preparatory School


Apply to be a Host Family
Home Away from Home
Program Details
Host Family Responsibilities

  • Attend the virtual HAH Orientation - date and time TBA
  • Complete all Saint John's Prep required background checks and forms
  • Meet with the student and their family during Welcome Week at the HAH Gathering - date and time TBA
  • Establish/build a relationship with the student throughout the year
  • Attend the HAH events in September, December, and May
  • Communicate all plans, concerns, and questions with the Residential Life staff

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I build a relationship with my student?
We hope that your student will become like a family friend, and that it will become organic to spend occasional time with him/her/them. Here are some ideas: weekend visits, attendance at school activities.
(e.g., fall play, soccer game, Convocation), letters/postcards/birthday cards/holiday cards to stay in touch over breaks, monthly check-in with the student, school-sponsored host family/international student events (September, December, May).

Will the student live in my Home?
No. Students are full-time boarding students at SJP and have their own housing. We ask that host families invite their host students to join them periodically for a holiday, family event, or a weekend. Families are not obligated to host overnight. Please note: We do not allow any students to stay overnight off-campus on school nights or to move in with HAH families.

What is the process for taking students off-campus? Who should we contact?
All contact should begin with the host family to the host student. Students will submit an "Orah" pass which is approved by the Residence Life staff (Resident Directors) as soon as possible. You can also call the on-duty residential life staff at 320-828-2230. Any other questions can be sent to Manon Kuzara.

Is the host family the same thing as a guardian?
No. Host families do not have these responsibilities. The Residential Life staff serves as the guardian(s) while students are here at SJP.

What are a host family's responsibilities?
The goal of the host family relationship is to welcome them to SJP and have them experience what it's like to live in America. Therefore, we ask that host families keep in touch with their students to help them feel welcome and transition successfully to life here. We also ask that families be supportive of the students who are far from home and that they invite them to get together at various points during the academic year.

What if a match doesn't work? What if my ability to serve as a host family has changed?
If a match doesn't work, we ask that the student or the host family contact Manon Kuzara directly. We will see if we can work through any conflicts or confusion. If that fails, we will make other arrangements.

What are the financial responsibilities of becoming a host?
A host family doesn't need to spend money. Home-cooked meals, time off-campus, and conversation with an American family are the most significant opportunities for our international students. If the host family wants to take the student to a museum or a movie (for example), the student should be able to pay their own way. Host families are permitted to cover expenses; however, this is not expected.